Fans, family members and NBA players will pay their final respects to Kobe Bryant at a public funeral service at Staples Center on Monday, February 24. There are a number of live stream options available including NBC News, the Los Angeles Times and also the team’s website.
Bryant’s memorial service starts at 1 p.m. ET and is expected to conclude by 4 p.m. ET. Few details have been released about the speakers and performers at Bryant’s funeral aside from Oregon basketball player Sabrina Ionescu.
Kobe’s Family Took Part in a Private Funeral Prior to the Memorial Service
Bryant’s family hosted a private funeral service on February 7 at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, per ET Online. Today’s memorial service is being dubbed a Celebration of Life which is meant to allow the public to pay their final respects.
“Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss,” an anonymous source told ET Online. “The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it’s still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls.”
February 24 has special significance given Bryant’s jersey number was No. 24, while his daughter Gigi Bryant wore No. 2. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, discussed the significance of the date when she announced the service on Instagram.
“#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️??,” she noted on Instagram.
The Staples Center Will Not Be Broadcasting the Memorial Service Outside the Arena
The city of Los Angeles is discouraging fans from heading to L.A. Live unless they are attending the funeral. The outside of the Staples Center has served as a place for thousands of fans to form an impromptu memorial for Bryant, but the service will not be shown on the outside screens. The area is going to be barricaded off and only accessible for those with tickets to attend the memorial. L.A. Live restaurants and bars will also be closed during the event.
A limited number of tickets were released for purchase, but the majority of people were added to the waitlist given the demand for the event. Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal reflected on his death just days after the tragedy on TNT’s Inside the NBA.
“The fact that we are not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, the fact that we are not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, I got five. You got four [championships],'” O’Neal said, per ESPN.com. “The fact that we are not going to be able to say if we would have stayed together, we could have gotten 10 … those are the things you can’t get back. With the loss of my father and my sister … that is the only thing I wish, I could just say something to them again.”