Vanessa Bryant spoke at Kobe Bryant's memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday.
Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash last month.
"I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player," Vanessa Bryant said. "He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my—he was my everything.
"I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant and his protector. He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird, and I was the night owl. He was fire and I was ice—and vice versa at times. We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman, he was loving, adoring and romantic."
Jimmy Kimmel, Sabrina Ionescu and several others are due to speak at the ceremony.