Fans remember Kobe Bryant ahead of Staples Center memorial service
A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will take place today.
On Monday — 2/24/20 — at 10 a.m. PST, over 20,000 people are expected to gather at the Los Angeles Staples Center to remember Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Held in the same basketball arena that Kobe carried out his legendary 20-season career, A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will offer a way for Los Angeles — and the country — to say goodbye to the beloved NBA star.
Tickets for the event were previously sold through a lottery system, with over 80,000 people applying to attend. Those who did not receive tickets were encouraged to stay home and watch the memorial on TV. All proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Houston Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu are reportedly scheduled to address the crowd. Ionescu was a close friend of Gianna’s. The Lakers are also reportedly expected to attend, including the team’s management, coaches and players. Also in attendance will be the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, who will play at the Staples Center later tonight (Feb. 24).
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti previously announced the memorial service earlier this month.
“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,” Garcetti said. “It’s a reminder how much unity we have, though. We are one city that believes in each other, believes in something bigger than ourselves and we will absolutely do everything to make sure that this is done so that everybody can come to it as well.”
Bryant and his daughter were laid to rest in a cemetery in Southern California on Feb. 7. A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will air live on ESPN, the ESPN App and ESPN Radio at 10 a.m. PST.
Ahead of the memorial service, fans are already remembering Kobe as a leader, father, inspiration, husband, role model and more. See some fan tributes on Twitter below.