We’ve been grieving the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna for almost a month now, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. Today will be especially difficult as fans, friends, and teammates gather in Los Angeles at the Staples Center for the public memorial of the basketball legend and his 13-year-old daughter. The pair died in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California, along with seven others.
This day is a poignant one. February 24. His widow, Vanessa Bryant, told her followers earlier this month that the public memorial would be held on 2/24/2020 because Kobe, of course, sported #24 on his jersey. Gianna, also a basketball player, was #2, and as Vanessa pointed out, “There is no #24 without #2. Today’s date is also unique to Vanessa because “#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together.” Furthermore, today’s event at the Staples Center will take place on a 24-foot-by-24-foot stage.
The memorial will take place, as we said, in Los Angeles today. More than 80,000 people entered a lottery to score tickets to the event, and only 20,000 got it. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Kobe’s nonprofit, Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
It’s unclear if Vanessa and her daughters, or his parents, will attend the memorial, but the Lakers team will be in attendance along with several notable athletes. A program of today’s event has not been released, so it is unclear how today’s memorial will take shape, but we’re certain there’s going to be beautiful music, touching words, and definitely lots of tears.
However, today is a day of celebration. That is how Vanessa defined today’s memorial: A Celebration of Life. If Vanessa attends today’s memorial, it would make it her first public appearance. We can only imagine how hard it would be for her to attend, but we also know it would be very encouraging to his fans. Either way, we will carry his memory alive always. Here’s more information on today’s memorial.
Here’s how to take part in today’s memorial:
What: A Celebration of Life
When: 1 p.m. (EST)
Fans from all over the world are paying tribute to Kobe, Gianna, and honoring his family on Twitter with unique words and images of this beloved tribe.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 24, 2020
good morning. today is the day we all have to say goodbye to these two beautiful souls. it’ll never feel real. let us all pray for Vanessa & the entire Bryant family today & all the other families affected. remember to hug your loved ones always. #KobeFarewell #MambaForever 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/lgmCYtZYkv
— jessica (@_jessvilla_) February 24, 2020
— Danielle (@imjustdani_) February 24, 2020
— Ziggy (@mrjafri) February 24, 2020
On February 7, Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest in a private funeral in Orange County.