A public memorial service is set to be held on Monday February 24, 2020 at the Staples Center. The date 2/24 holds great significance because it is a combination of Gianna and Kobe’s jersey numbers. All 9 passengers Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan who were killed in the tragic events on January 26, 2020, will all be honored at the memorial service.
The Lakers are set to host Memphis on 2/24 in the evening. Although no time has been set for the service it will more than likely be held earlier that day. While this is a public memorial service, each victim is still set to have private funerals. Assistant coach Christina Mauser funeral was announced on Wednesday that it would be held February 16, 2020 at 1pm in the gymnasium of her alma mater, at Edison High School in Huntington Beach.
“The House That Kobe Built”
It is only right to honor Kobe in the house that he built. The Los Angeles Lakers legend won his first of five titles at Staples Center in 2000, mere months after its grand opening. He had a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in the building in 2006, he clinched his fifth and final title over the Boston Celtics there in 2010, he tore his Achilles’ tendon there in 2013, and he completed his 20-year career there with a 60-point game in his 2016 finale. Both of his jerseys No. 8 and No. 24 hang in the rafters, and he was welcomed with enthusiastic standing ovations every time he returned in retirement to watch the Lakers. The Lakers have KB on the floor as well as the numbers 8 and 24. See photos below, Credit Lakers Instagram.
On Friday, January 31st the Lakers hosted the the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since Bryant’s helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Calif. The Lakers gave out Kobe Bryant shirts, half the #8 and the other half #24. The memorial started with Usher singing Amazing Grace followed by a video tribute. Lebron James, who had just passed Kobe on the NBA’s All Time Scoring list was visibly heart broken.
After a 24.2-second moment of silence for Bryant and the other crash victims, James took the court, pledging to “continue [Bryant’s] legacy.” Once his speech was complete, the five Lakers starters were announced with Bryant’s standard introduction: “A 6-6 forward from Lower Merion High School in his 20th season. Kobeeeee Bryant.” Then, on the game’s first possessions, the Lakers took a 24-second violation and the Blazers took an eight-second violation to honor Kobe. The tribute to Kobe was beautiful, but the Lakers were unable to get the win. They fail short to the Blazers 127-119.
- “At some point we will have a memorial for Kobe, but I look at this as a celebration tonight,” James said. “This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body. The determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.”
The love shown for Kobe Bryant didn’t stop there. Lee Zeidman, the president of Staples Center, L.A. Live and Microsoft Theater, said in a tweet Monday that the dismantling of the memorial to Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash, began at 4 a.m. Among the items were 1,353 basketballs,14 banners, 25,000 candles, 5,000 letters, signs and flags, 500 stuffed animals and hundreds of shoes were also collected.
He was honored with tattoos, youtube tributes and even a fan made her version of his memorial program. Steve Butcher a California tattoo artist did some really dope tats of Kobe & Gianna that he posted to his Instagram. Lebron James got a tattoo to honor Kobe as well. Monica Stanley a graphic designer from Maryland shared her wonderful work on her Instagram. See some of the amazing tributes below.
Tributes were also made to honor Giana Bryant
Gianna’s school retired her jersey during a memorial program Wednesday night. Pictures and videos were both shared on Vanessa Bryant’s Instagram.
Vanessa also shared this piece of artwork from a fan with a heart warming caption.