Saying goodbye. Kobe Bryant’s public memorial has been set for February 24, 2020, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
A source tells Us Weekly that the public memorial, which Los Angeles Times first reported on Thursday, February 6, is one of two that will take place in the city. There is a “separate” funeral celebration in the works from the City of Los Angeles.
“The city is holding off announcing those plans for right now out of respect for Vanessa [Bryant, Kobe’s wife] and the family,” the source says.
The date’s significance ties to former Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who both played basketball. Bryant, who died along with his daughter and seven other people in a fatal helicopter crash on January 26, had two numbers while playing for the L.A. team.
The Lakers star played under No. 8 for the majority of his career, switching to No. 24 during the 2006-2007 season. Both numbers have been retired by the organization.
Gianna’s jersey number was No. 2, which is why the father-daughter duo will be honored on 2/24 at Staples Center, the house that Kobe built.
The public memorial will take place almost one month after Bryant and the eight other individuals died in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, while traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
Bryant was previously honored during the first Lakers game since his passing on January 31.
While facing off against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center, the Lakers organization remembered the NBA legend in numerous tributes. In addition to fans leaving mementos outside the arena and signing walls with messages about the star, inside there were musical performances and No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys handed out to everyone in attendance.
Usher started the night off by singing “Amazing Grace” for the sold-out crowd before Boyz II Men performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
A video played of Bryant himself talking about his 20-year career with the L.A. team while cellist Ben Hong played “Hallelujah.” The video ended with 24.2 seconds of silence — a nod to Bryant and his daughter. The game clock also stopped at 24.2 seconds at the end of regulation play in their honor.
LeBron James followed the standout performances with a touching speech about his friend before the game. Later in the night, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth performed their song “See You Again” during the halftime show.
Throughout the night, Bryant and Gianna’s jerseys were laid on two courtside seats in their honor.
“There is no #24 without #2. #GirlDaddy #DaddysGirl #MyBabies #OurAngels,” Vanessa, 37, wrote via Instagram in response to the tribute to her family.
Kobe and Vanessa also shared daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
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