News that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died, alongside seven others, in a fatal helicopter crash shocked the world last month. After a private funeral for family and friends and many tributes, the Staples Center is holding its own official ‘Celebration of Life’ for Kobe & Gianna today. As fans are aware, the Staples Center is home to Kobe’s former team, the L.A. Lakers, and will reportedly host over 20,000 people during the memorial today.
As far as who exactly will be in attendance, the NY Post reports:
“More than 20,000 people — including friends, family and those lucky enough to have won a ticket in a lottery that drew 80,000 applications — will gather to remember the basketball star’s legacy, according to ESPN. Proceeds will benefit Kobe’s Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. Celtics Legend Bill Russell — who paid tribute to Bryant during Sunday’s Lakers-Celtics game by wearing Bryant’s No. 24 jersey — will also attend, according to NBA.com. Although the Lakers are old rivals of Boston, Russell felt compelled to wear the jersey a day before the memorial, tweeting that he’d ‘do anything to honor #KobeAndGianna.’ Former NBA stars, including Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are also expected to be present, according to The New York Times. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks have said they will attend — as well as Luke Walton, a former Lakers teammate of Bryant’s who is now the head coach for the Sacramento Kings, according to the Times. James Harden and Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets will be there as well, according to ESPN. Oregon college basketball player Sabrina Ionescu is scheduled to address the crowd. Kobe and Gigi were close with Ionescu and had traveled to Oregon to see her play. The Lakers are also expected to attend, along with members of the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.”
The site states it is still unclear if Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant and the girls will attend. If you aren’t one of the lucky fans who won tickets, tune in up top at 1 p.m. ET.