UPDATE (February 24, 2020): The memorial service at Staples Center for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna will take place on Monday, February 24 at 1PM EST. Possible speakers at the service could include Adam Silver, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and more. You can catch the TIME livestream above. But other outlets such as Entertainment Tonight and USA Today are livestreaming as well.
ORIGINAL (February 7,2020)
Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other victims of a fatal helicopter crash last week are set to be honored in a public memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24, as reported on Thursday by the Los Angeles Times. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, also confirmed the news earlier today in an Instagram post, sharing an image of a flyer and writing in her caption “#2, #24 #20 years as a Laker.”
February 24 is symbolic for many obvious reasons, namely that the numerical date “2/24” references both Gianna and Kobe’s respective basketball jersey numbers. The fact that this year happens to be “2020” further speaks to Bryant’s NBA legacy, as the retired Los Angeles Lakers star logged exactly 20 seasons over the course of his career with the team. Additionally, the Staples Center (affectionately nicknamed “The House That Kobe Built”) is an undeniable venue for remembering the sports legend, who played there throughout those two decades.
Mayor Eric Garcetti assures that the ceremony will pay tribute to all nine of the individuals that were on the flight, stating to TODAY that “it is not just about one person but the tragedy of all the lives that were lost.” He added: “we will do this in the right way.” Watch TODAY’s full segment of all the current details in the video above.
Tickets for the service will reportedly be available to the general public, with proceeds planned to go towards Bryant’s charity.
The world at large continues to mourn the shocking death of Bryant, with the renowned athlete having been remembered in recent days by the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Kanye West and more. It was recently confirmed that he would be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, and the Lakers honored the late player by giving out 20,000 jerseys during last Friday’s home game against the Portland Trailblazers.