Kobe Bryant memorial: Who may attend, what to expect

Four weeks after Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash, the public will have an opportunity to say goodbye.

The memorial for Kobe, Gianna, 13 and affectionately known as Gigi, six friends and pilot Ara Zobayan is Monday at Staples Center at 1 p.m. ET. 

No official guest list has been released and there is much speculation about who may attend, along with the fans lucky enough to secure tickets during a pre-registered sale on Ticketmaster last Wednesday. There also will be spots reserved for media.

Memorials also were held for Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle and former Lakers owner Jerry Buss in downtown L.A — Jackson in 2009; Buss in 2013; and Hussle last year.

There will be no processional. Kobe and Gianna were buried in a private service at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar on Feb. 7. 

A mural depicting deceased NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna is displayed on a building in Los Angeles. (Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images)

Who may speak?

Adam Silver: The NBA commissioner feels like a shoo-in for this.

Jerry West: As general manager of the Lakers in 1996, West traded for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant that summer. He also signed Shaquille O'Neal and brought Phil Jackson on board as coach. Bryant went on to lead the Lakers to five championships and West loved him like a son. However, he has a tense relationship with the organization.

Magic Johnson: The Hall of Famer led the Showtime Lakers to five titles in the 1980s. He is synonymous with the organization and opened the All-Star Game tribute to Bryant in Chicago.

Shaquille O'Neal: While they had their public feuds, they won three titles together in L.A.

Mike Krzyzewski: The former Team USA coach who led the team to gold in 2008 and 2012 when Bryant was on the team. He said after Bryant's death: "The game of basketball is better today because of Kobe, and he deserves eternal appreciation for that." Krzyzewski could make the trip to Los Angeles, with the Duke men's basketball team off Sunday and Monday. 

Phil Jackson: This would be a surprise. He doesn't have a strong relationship with West. The 11-time NBA champion head coach was at the helm for all five titles with Bryant. However, they clashed over style of play and Jackson once demanded the Lakers trade Bryant. Their relationship improved during Jackson's second stint with the team.

LeBron James: The NBA's most popular player today, James spoke publicly for the first time since Bryant's death at the Lakers' first game back, on Jan. 31. Expect to hear from him again.

Jeanie Buss: The daughter of Jerry Buss, she has not spoken publicly since Bryant's death. She posted an Instagram message Jan. 30 that recalled a time shortly after her father's death when Bryant reached out to her.  

Rob Pelinka: Bryant's close friend and former agent now serves as the Lakers' general manager.

Source: Read Full Article