Today’s memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month, will be steeped in symbolism.
The jersey numbers of the basketball legend and his budding prodigy — 24 and 2, respectively — are intrinsically rooted in the details. Everything from the date of the event — Feb. 24 (02/24/20) — to the ticket prices — $24.02, two for $224 or $224 each — relates to those special numbers.
Twenty-thousand mourners will fill downtown Los Angeles’ Staples Center — “the house that Kobe built” — to celebrate the lives of the 41-year-old Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter, who were killed in the air crash over Calabasas.
Outside the arena, screens will go dark, and the entire space around LA Live will be barricaded to those who do not have tickets to the sold-out memorial. Officials have advised the public to stay away from the vicinity, echoing a similar command given last year before the memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
“Heed our message: There will be nothing to be seen here,” Staples Center President Lee Zeidman said Friday.
Those who didn’t receive a ticket to the memorial can still watch from home or elsewhere. The service will be streamed live on several outlets. Here’s what you need to know:
MEMORIAL START TIME
The memorial begins at 10 a.m. Monday and is expected to conclude by 1 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH
Spectrum News 1 will carry the memorial, as will ABC News Live (the network’s streaming service) on various platforms, including Roku, Hulu, Facebook Watch and Apple TV. Viewers also can watch live on latimes.com.
Local networks also are expected to broadcast the live event.
In Orange County, home to all nine of the crash victims, the city of Santa Ana will offer a service at City Hall for those hoping to watch the event in solidarity with others. A prayer and a moment of silence will precede the memorial.
“To commemorate Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven other members of our Orange County community who lost their lives in a helicopter crash last month, the city of Santa Ana is inviting the public to watch live broadcasts of the memorial event on Monday, Feb. 24, at City Hall,” city officials said in a statement.
The city of Lynwood, a predominantly Latino community that embraced Bryant, will show the memorial at the Lynwood Community Center gymnasium.
Staples Center has instructed people not to enter the surrounding LA Live area during the service. It’s unclear how restaurants and other venues in the vicinity will be affected. Some businesses are preparing to open later than normal because pedestrian access will be restricted.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There will be no procession before the memorial, and the service will conclude in time to allow for Clippers game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Mayor Eric Garcetti previously said that the memorial would serve as a tribute to more than Bryant’s basketball career.
“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,” he told reporters.
“It’s a reminder how much unity we have, though. We are one city that believes in each other, believes in something bigger than ourselves and we will absolutely do everything to make sure that this is done so that everybody can come to it as well,” the mayor said.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.