Four weeks after NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in a helicopter crash, a public memorial is being organised at the Los Angeles based Staples Centre on Monday, February 24. It was in January when Kobe Bryant along with eight others including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in the fatal helicopter crash that shocked the fans world over.
Bryant and Gianna, along with seven others were on their way to Thousand Oaks, California, to participate in a basketball match, when the chopper in which they were travelling crashed into a hillside in Calabasas. All nine members aboard the ill-fated chopper, along with the pilot, Ara Zobayan, died on the spot.
What is the significance of 2/24/20 ?
Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest in a private ceremony held on February 7. According to Entertainment Tonight, the private funeral ceremony was held at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, on Friday, February 7. Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their three children, Natalia (17), Bianka (3), and Capri (7 months).
The public memorial called 'A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant' is aimed at paying tributes to the legend for the contributions he made to sports and culture. Bryant's widow Vanessa had earlier made the public announcement on her Instagram page. The memorial also gives an opportunity to the grieving fans of the legend as they bid their last goodbye to Kobe at a place nicknamed 'house that Kobe built.'
The date chosen to pay tributes to the departed legendary soul holds an important place for Bryant's family and sports fraternity. In 2/24/20, the number 2 represents Gianna's jersey number, 24 refers to Kobe's jersey, and 20 represent the number of years spent by Kobe Bryant as a Laker.
Who is likely to attend the memorial?
The memorial service is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT. The venue would be open from 8 a.m. PT and those with the tickets are expected to be seated by 9:45 a.m. PT.
Though it is still not clear as to who all will be attending the memorial, it is speculated that apart from close family members of Bryant those attending the event may include Bryant's parents, Joe and Pam Bryant, and his older sisters, Sharia and Shaya, NBA authorities and former players.
So far, around 250,000 grieving fans have paid their tributes to Kobe and Gianna at the makeshift memorial set up outside the arena after the crash. Monday's memorial service is expected to see a huge turnout with the police and organisers urging those without tickets to the venue to stay away from the area. According to the LAPD, the roads leading up to the venue would be closed with checkpoints at several spots to check the entry of valid ticket holders.
According to the reports, the 20,000 seats in the arena are completely sold out. There is a waiting list of 100,000 people expecting a last-minute entry to the venue. According to the Lakers, the money generated from the sale of tickets have been donated to Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation
Here is how you can watch the memorial service
In the absence of any screens set up around the venue or LA Live Complex located nearby the Staples Center, the fans can watch the live telecast of the memorial via other mediums.
NBA TV will broadcast the memorial service live with a 4-hour block beginning from 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). The Los Angeles Lakers' website states that the live streaming of the event will be available on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and elsewhere.
Networks including BET, CNN, and E! News will be providing live coverage of the memorial. One can also catch the lie streaming on ETLive.com, CBS All Access, ET Live app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV, ABC News, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, Yahoo Sports, and Facebook Watch.