A memorial service for Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven other victims of the January 26th helicopter crash will take at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, “the House That Kobe Built,” on February 24th.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed that the date of the public memorial combines the jersey numbers worn by Gianna (2) and Kobe (24).
The Staples Center previously hosted the public memorials for Michael Jackson in 2009 and Nipsey Hussle in April 2019. The public memorial was settled after the Lakers organization discussed it with Bryant’s widow, Vanessa; no other details regarding the event have been revealed at press time.
Entertainment Tonight reports that while officials debated holding the memorial in a venue with a larger capacity — like any of the football stadiums in the Los Angeles region — they felt it was important to honor Bryant once again on his home court; prior to the Lakers’ first game since Bryant’s death, the team paid tribute to the basketball legend.
Los Angeles Times adds that, due to a scheduled February 24th Los Angeles Clippers game at the Staples Center, there will be no procession in order to guarantee that the NBA game starts as scheduled. The public memorial also falls between a pair of Lakers home games on February 23rd and 25th.
“There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there,” Mayor Eric Garcetti previously promised. “I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player, this is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court.”