An official Kobe Bryant memorial looks likely on February 24 at the Staples Center, where he once dominated the court for the LA Lakers


A public memorial in honor of Kobe Bryant is due to be held at his old stomping ground of the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, according to the LA Times.

The event is being planned for Monday February 24, according to two unnamed sources who spoke to the Times, as well as sources who spoke to CNN. It has not been officially announced.

It will also honor Bryant's daughter Gianna, and the seven others who died in the same helicopter crash in Los Angeles County in late January.

The Times's sources said the date was set after talks with Bryant's widow Vanessa, the Staples Center, and The Lakers organization. A Lakers spokesperson has no comment when contacted by Business Insider.

The bodies of all nine victims from the January 26 crash were returned to their families this week by medical examiners in Los Angeles.

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A fan pays tribute to Kobe Bryant at a makeshift memorial at the Staple Center on January 27.
Lauren Frias/Business Insider

According to the LA Times, the Staples Center memorial will be relatively brief, as it needs to finish in time for a scheduled game between the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, which starts at 7:30 p.m. local time.

CNN noted that the date 2/24 could be symbolic: Bryant wore the number 24 jersey for the latter part of his career, and Gianna played in number 2 in youth basketball games.

The Staples Center has already become a focus for memorials to Bryant. Fans made their own memorial outside the day after he died, coating the ground outside with flowers, jerseys and other tributes.

A previously planned game between the LA Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers also became a Bryant tribute, with celebrity performances, a speech from LeBron James, and two empty courtside seats for Bryant and Gianna.

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Empty courtside seats marked with roses in honor of Kobe Bryant, who wore a number 24 jersey, and Gianna Bryant, who wore number 2.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the local news channel ABC7 that Bryant should have some kind of public memorial in the city where he spent 20 years as a stand-out player with the Lakers. 

"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," Garcetti later told the LA Times. 

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A mural honoring Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
Getty/Apu Gomes

The other victims of the crash were  John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan, the pilot.