Vanessa Bryant Will Receive Fan Tributes Left for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at Staples Center Memorial
Fans have been gathering at the Staples Center to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant following his tragic death on Jan. 26
In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times, Lee Zeidman, the president of Staples Center, L.A. Live and Microsoft Theater, said Vanessa, 37, has asked to keep most of the items left outside of the Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena as fans came to pay tribute to the NBA icon and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in the wake of their tragic deaths on Jan. 26.
Zeidman told the outlet that they will begin dismantling the tributes on Sunday, after the Super Bowl game.
“It will have been a week. We have contractually obligated events that are moving in,” he said. “Vanessa had reached out to us and said, ‘Our family would like the items out there.’ So we’re going to catalog every one of them. By that I mean, T-shirts, letters, basketballs, stuffed animals, toys. We’re going to put those in specially made containers and we’re going to ship them to the family.”
Meanwhile, all the perishable items like flowers will be composted around the site, an idea that Zeidman said was inspired by a similar strategy used by Manchester Arena in England after the 2017 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
“So we’re going to compost all those flowers out there and spread them around the plants in and around L.A. Live and in and around Staples Center,” he told the Times. “So that means that all those fans that took the time to buy the flowers and plants and brought them down there, some of that will still be around the site.“
Zeidman added: “Our goal is to somehow have it cleaned up as we relate to the middle of next week and we’re asking people — we’re going to put signage all around LA Live and Staples Center — if you still feel the need to do something, you can certainly come down here. But we hope that you wouldn’t bring any gift and flowers, but that you donate to the Mamba Foundations that they’ve already set up. Then we try to get back to whatever normalcy is around the campus.”
On Friday, Vanessa remembered her husband and daughter while the Lakers played their first game since her husband’s death. The mother of four shared a photo of a special moment from the tribute ahead of the game: a photo of Gianna’s and Kobe’s jerseys on the courtside seats they used to occupy, adorned with red roses.
“There is no #24 without #2,” she wrote in the caption of her Instagram post, adding, “❤️#GirlDaddy #DaddysGirl #MyBabies ❤️❤️ #OurAngels.”
Before the game, Lakers star LeBron James also gave an emotional speech remembering his late friend and Gianna, as well as the other victims of Sunday’s tragic helicopter crash: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.