Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Tears Shed, Joyful Times Recalled at Kobe Bryant Memorial
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
January 28, 2020

Share

LOS ANGELES — Fans call it The House that Kobe Built, and since Kobe Bryant’s shocking death in a helicopter crash mourners by the thousands have gathered outside the glistening steel-and-glass edifice where the Los Angeles Lakers legend made so much basketball history.
The arrivals at downtown Staples Center began soon after word spread that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in Sunday’s crash. They continued unabated Monday as people took off from school or work to pay respects to a man with whom many felt a kinship.

Photo of fans mourning Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
Fans gather at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near Staples Center Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
“The memories that he gave us as a family were great memories,” said Lawrence Perez or North Hollywood, who arrived with his wife, Maureen, and 15-year-old daughter, Desiree. “We could have been at home, but we wanted to be with other people who are kind of going through the same thing.”
The Lakers had a game scheduled Tuesday night against the LA Clippers at Staples Center but the NBA postponed it “out of respect” for the Lakers. The next Lakers home game is Friday night against Portland.
The Staples Center, home to the Lakers and Clippers, opened for the 1999-2000 season, just as a 21-year-old Bryant was blossoming. That season the team would win the first of five championships over the next 10 years.
Although the mood there Monday was often somber as people hugged and wiped away tears, many couldn’t help but grin at times as they recalled joyful moments Bryant brought to their lives.
“The greatest moment was when I got his autograph his rookie year,” Perez said, recalling how he told the teenage Bryant he was destined for greatness. Bryant smiled, shook his hand and said he hoped he’d just break into the team’s starting lineup sometime soon.

‘It Was Different When You Saw Kobe Play’

Perez had planned to bring that ball to Bryant’s Hall of Fame induction, expected later this year, and ask him to sign it again.
“But that’s not going to happen now,” he said softly as his wife hugged him and said, “He cried when he heard the news.”

Photo of fan mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
People gather at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near Staples Center Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
As people arrived at the arena they were greeted by a gigantic display of flowers, balloons, votive candles (some with Bryant’s photo on them), hats, jerseys, statuettes of angels and photos and paintings of Bryant and his daughter circling the entire area. Some showed father and daughter with angel’s wings. Others contained personal messages written in English, Spanish and Chinese, showing the international impact Bryant’s career had.
“I left my shoe for him,” said Louie Guerrero of Los Angeles, who arrived at the memorial pushing a stroller with his 2-year-old daughter, Lexie, decked out in her own little Lakers uniform. He spontaneously decided to add one of his official Lakers basketball shoes to the memorial after scribbling on it, “We Love You, Kobe.”
He walked away with only a sock on his left foot.
Nearby, Michelle Rodriguez of Los Angeles wiped away a tear as she gazed at photos of Bryant with his daughter and his teammates. The 30-year-old emergency room nurse had arrived with her 12-year-old bulldog, Canelle, after working an overnight shift. Both were wearing Lakers jerseys.
“I think everyone could say we loved the team as a whole, but it was different when you saw Kobe play,” she said.
“And he was such an awesome man outside of basketball too,” she added. “All the work he did in the community, he’s a hero to this city.”

DON'T MISS

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

DON'T MISS

John Deere Reverses its Support of Pride Events

DON'T MISS

Republican Convention Turns to Immigration and the Border, Central Issues for Trump’s Campaign

DON'T MISS

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

DON'T MISS

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

DON'T MISS

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

DON'T MISS

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

DON'T MISS

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

DON'T MISS

GV Wire Honored With 5 Reporting Awards in CNPA Competition

DON'T MISS

Your Fresno Address Will Determine If a Yes Vote for a School Bond Raises Your Taxes

UP NEXT

Gareth Southgate Says He Will Step Down as England Manager

UP NEXT

Bronny James Finishes With 2 Points, Lakers Lose to Celtics at Summer League

UP NEXT

Dodgers’ Teoscar Hernández Wins the Home Run Derby

UP NEXT

LeBron James at 39 Still Is the Center of Attention for USA Basketball. That Won’t Change in Paris

UP NEXT

Tedford Exits Fresno State Football. Tim Skipper Is the Next Bulldog Up.

UP NEXT

Dustin May Undergoes Season-Ending Esophagus Surgery as Dodgers Rotation Takes Another Hit

UP NEXT

Argentina Wins Record 16th Copa America Title, Beats Colombia After Messi Gets Hurt

UP NEXT

Tigers Take Advantage of Ramírez Errors in 9th Inning

UP NEXT

Mike Yastrzemski Triples, Scores in Bottom of 9th, Giants Beat Twins

UP NEXT

Spain Beats England 2-1 to Win Record Fourth European Championship Title

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

11 hours ago

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

12 hours ago

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

13 hours ago

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

13 hours ago

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

13 hours ago

GV Wire Honored With 5 Reporting Awards in CNPA Competition

13 hours ago

Your Fresno Address Will Determine If a Yes Vote for a School Bond Raises Your Taxes

15 hours ago

What Polls Tell Us About Biden’s Chances

15 hours ago

A Prison Union Is Spending Big on Gavin Newsom. Is It an ‘800 Pound Gorilla’ or a Threatened Species?

15 hours ago

Local Dems Outshine GOP in Latest Congressional Fundraising

16 hours ago

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

A parade of vanquished foes who previously criticized Donald Trump are speaking on the second night of the Republican National Convention on...

10 hours ago

10 hours ago

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

11 hours ago

John Deere Reverses its Support of Pride Events

11 hours ago

Republican Convention Turns to Immigration and the Border, Central Issues for Trump’s Campaign

11 hours ago

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

12 hours ago

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

13 hours ago

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

13 hours ago

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

13 hours ago

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend