Ellen DeGeneres' Kobe Bryant Tribute Is All About Celebrating Life

Ellen DeGeneres broke down as she talked about celebrating life in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death.

ellen degeneres on kobe bryant

Ellen DeGeneres delivered an emotional monologue on her talk show on Tuesday about the death of Kobe Bryant, which shook the world and DeGeneres in particular. During her opening monologue, which was filmed on Monday, DeGeneres broke down in tears as she said that her birthday on Sunday was "a celebratory day" until they "got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second." The NBA legend died in a helicopter crash that killed eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant.

"Life is short and it's fragile," DeGeneres said in her monologue. "And we don't know how many birthdays we have. We don't have to have a birthday to celebrate. Just celebrate life. If you haven't told someone you love them, do it now. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them."

And then, characteristically ending with a poignant quip, DeGeneres said, "Be nice to the people at the DMV, they're people. Be nice to them."

As always, she encouraged her viewers to practice kindness, compassion, appreciation, and gratitude. "I know that I'm lucky to have a wife who loves me so much," she said. "I get to come to work every single day with people who make me laugh. I love everybody I work with."

Bryant appeared on Ellen multiple times throughout his career, even giving her his first exclusive interview after retiring from the NBA in 2016. Before she played a video reel of Bryant's appearances on her show, DeGeneres said: "Kobe was a legend who will always be remembered for what he accomplished on the basketball court, but also remembered for his kindness and the times that he helped us give back to deserving people on our show."

On Tuesday, DeGeneres took to Twitter to write that "Kobe Bryant was someone who was always there when we wanted to help someone in need. For that, I will be forever grateful."

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal