Kobe Bryant’s public funeral service will start at the Staples Center on Monday, February 24 at 1 p.m. ET. ESPN and NBA TV are showing Bryant’s Celebration of Life service.
BET is offering a commercial-free broadcast featuring Jemele Hill. There are a number of live stream options available including the Los Angeles Lakers website, Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Tonight.
The service is also expected to pay tribute to Kobe’s daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, as well as the additional victims in the helicopter crash. There will not be a processional preceding the memorial and the service is expected to end by 4 p.m. ET, per the Los Angeles Times.
The city of Los Angeles is also planning to honor Kobe with a permanent memorial. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti told ABC 7 that plans are still ongoing, but the city wants to have “something for the ages.”
“People have talked about boulevards, people have talked about parks, people have talked about certain blocks,” Garcetti explained to ABC 7. “We want to hear from Angelenos, work with the Lakers, and be respectful of the organization and the family. But there’s no question we’re going to have something for the ages.”
Here’s the video of Bryant’s memorial service.
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The Bryant Family Had a Private Funeral Service for Kobe & Gigi
There was a private funeral service held by the family on February 7 at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, per ET Online. The memorial service at the Staples Center is a much larger gathering where former teammates, NBA staff members, and fans are all expected to attend.
“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.”
The Date 2-24-20 Has Significance as the Jersey Numbers of Kobe & Gigi
The February 24 date for the memorial service felt appropriate given one of Kobe’s jersey numbers was 24 with the Lakers and Gigi wore No. 2 on her basketball team. Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, commented on the memorial service date on an Instagram post.
“#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️??,” Vanessa noted on Instagram.
A Limited Number of Tickets Were Released for Purchase, but the Demand Was Much Greater
Fans were able to sign up to be part of a lottery for a chance to purchase tickets for the memorial service. The proceeds from the ticket sales went to benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. TMZ reported that 88,000 people signed up to attempt to purchase tickets within the first five hours.
The Staples Center is a fitting location for the memorial service given its significance in Kobe’s career. With a capacity of about 20,000 people, the venue choice meant there would only be a limited number of tickets available once family and friends were given passes.
Fans had been gathering outside the Staples Center to pay tribute since the tragic helicopter crash. However, city officials announced they would not be broadcasting the service on outside screens and encouraged fans to avoid the Staples Center area unless they were attending the service.