A memorial service celebrating the lives of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna will be held Monday at Staples Center in downtown L.A. The date — Feb. 24 — reflects the basketball jersey numbers worn by Kobe (No. 24) and Gianna (No. 2).
The service will be held just less than a month after Bryant, 13-year-old Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26.
More than 20,000 people — friends, family and those who acquired tickets through a lottery (80,000 applied) — are expected to crowd into the arena, with proceeds benefiting the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Included will be the Houston Rockets‘ James Harden and Russell Westbrook and Oregon‘s Sabrina Ionescu, who is scheduled to address the crowd and then fly to her game that evening at Stanford. Kobe and Gigi had traveled to Oregon to see Ionescu play, and they had become close.
It isn’t known whether Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, and their three surviving daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri — or his parents, Joe and Pam — will attend.
— Shelley Smith
The Pelicans are expected to have 3-4 players, head coach Alvin Gentry, GM Trajan Langdon and VP of business operations and player development Swin Cash attend “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” at Staples Center tomorrow morning in LA, @TheUndefeated has learned.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) February 24, 2020
Klay Thompson is also expected to be in attendance. https://t.co/8szbhfOrWN
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) February 24, 2020
Fans with tickets please note the street closures and allow additional time to arrive. Doors open at 8am and the program will start at 10am. pic.twitter.com/uGhw48jK3w
— STAPLES Center (@STAPLESCenter) February 24, 2020
People closest to Kobe Bryant share the stories they’re looking back on ahead of Monday’s memorial. — Ramona Shelburne
The Lakers’ first game after Kobe Bryant’s death was full of consoling and catharsis. — Baxter Holmes
Kobe had the skill and knowledge to be any kind of player he wanted to be. — Zach Lowe
From his first NBA media day to his phenomenal final game, we reveal the untold stories behind the most legendary images of the Black Mamba.
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