Kobe Bryant will be immortalized outside of Staples Center with a statute in Star Plaza. That much was true even before the Lakers legend was tragically killed at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. However, it appears that won’t be the first chance fans get to come together and mourn the Lakers legend.
In an interview with Dakota Smith of the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti revealed that the city is in discussions with the Lakers and the Bryant family about holding a memorial in remembrance of Kobe, his daughter Gianna and the seven other people that lost their lives in the helicopter crash:
“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,” Garcetti said Thursday. “We don’t have that date finalized but we’ve been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to [Bryant’s widow, Vanessa] as well. 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.”
Memorials have popped up all over Los Angeles since Sunday, most notably at L.A. Live and the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, but at least one of those memorials will only be there for a few more days.
On Friday, Lee Zeidman, the president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live, told Baxter Holmes of ESPN that “due to other contractually obligated events,” fans will be asked to not bring items to L.A. Live or Staples Center starting Monday. Zeidman also encouraged Lakers fans to stay home for Friday’s game, as the game will not be broadcast on the LED screens at L.A. Live.
Still, it’s clear that the city isn’t done grieving, so providing a public event for everyone to get together and listen to those closest to Bryant and the other families speak could help everyone’s healing process. While Staples Center likely isn’t big enough to hold a crowd as large as the one that will want to pay its respects to Bryant, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum might be, so expect that as a potential option for a public memorial for the late Lakers star.
Expect more details on Bryant’s memorial by the city of Los Angeles over in the coming days.