The details for the memorial service for Kobe Bryant are being made public after a near two-week delay as organizers tried to decide on the venue and date.
It will be held at the Staples Center, which has been called “The House That Kobe Built, and is going to be on February 24. That date, when written numerically, is 2/24, and it has a very special meaning.
Bryant wore number 24 for most of his career with the Lakers, and his daughter, Gianna, who also died in the helicopter crash, wore number 2 at the Mamba Academy.
The decision to have it on this special date was not a coincidence.
“There was conversations about possibly having the ceremony at the LA Coliseum to fit more people, but ultimately the Staples Center made the most sense as it was such a big part of Kobe’s life,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “The date being the 24th was a decision to coincide with his jersey number as well. The day will be a way for LA to celebrate a man that meant so much to the city.”
On January 30th, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the city’s plans to have a public memorial.
“There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there,” Garcetti said.
“We don’t have that date finalized but we’ve been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to [Bryant’s widow, Vanessa] as well,” he continued. “I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player, this is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court.”
The date selection has fans feeling very emotional.
“If it is being held on 2/24 then in should start at 8,” one person noted, referencing the other jersey number Bryant wore on the Lakers.
“Can we agree now that 2/8/2024 be Kobe and Gigi day???” another said.
“Love them or hate them the Lakers have been class personified throughout this whole thing. Respect,” someone else commented.
There were reportedly talks to have the memorial at a larger venue, like the Rose Bowl, which holds 90,000 people, but ultimately organizers decided the arena in which he played was the best option.
me. after finding out that Kobe Bryant's Memorial is set for February 24 (2/24)
and then realizing that
Gianna's jersey was #2 and Kobe's was #24 pic.twitter.com/Wa8syiSRib
— youtube/Alonzo (@alonzolerone) February 7, 2020