On Jan. 26, 2020, the world was shocked to hear the news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others had died tragically in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. As the terrible news broke, tributes to Bryant - who played his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers - began pouring in from the sports world and beyond. At NBA games that day, teams took 24-second and 8-second violations in honor of Bryant's no. 24 and no. 8 jerseys.
The City of Los Angeles has announced that the Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will take place at STAPLES Center on Monday, Feb. 24. The tiered ticket pricing honors the numbers that Kobe and Gianna wore: $224 for select individual tickets, two tickets for $224, and single tickets for $24.02. Proceeds will be donated to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
On Tuesday, Feb. 18, registered fans will receive an e-mail and a text message with a personal access code to purchase tickets on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT. The access code will be required to purchase online tickets. If the demand for tickets exceeds supply, fans will be chosen at random to purchase tickets. Tickets are non-transferable, and all ticketed guests must enter STAPLES Center with the person who purchased the tickets.
In the days that followed the crash, landmarks across Los Angeles were lit up in the Lakers' purple and gold, including City Hall, Grand Park, Union Station, the InterContinental Downtown LA, the LAX Gateway Pylons, The Forum, and the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier.
Cities across the country and around the world joined in the colorful tribute, such as the Chase Center in San Francisco, the United Center in Chicago, the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden in New York, and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards took place at STAPLES Center just hours after the accident. Host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men opened the ceremony with a performance of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" in honor of Kobe and the others lost in the crash. Keys said, "We are literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
A week later, the NFL paid tribute at Super Bowl LIV with a moment of silence before the game as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs stood on their respective 24-yard lines. Several players wore cleats dedicated to Kobe, and in a pregame segment 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman recited a poem called "Dear Football" - a nod to Bryant's Oscar-winning short film, "Dear Basketball." During the halftime show by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, Lopez's 11-year-old daughter, Emme and a children's choir joined her on stage for "Let's Get Loud." An aerial shot showed a giant cross lit up in purple and gold.
At the 92nd Academy Awards, the In Memoriam segment opened with an image of Kobe Bryant holding his Oscar for "Dear Basketball" and a quote: "Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going."
Spike Lee, who presented the Best Director award to Bong Joon-ho, paid tribute to Bryant with a purple-and-gold Gucci suit that had the number "24" embroidered on the lapels and back of the jacket. Lee, who directed the 2009 documentary "Kobe Doin' Work," completed his ensemble with a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elite "Strategy" sneakers and a purple hat and glasses. Earlier in the ceremony, when "Hair Love" won the Oscar for Best Animated Short, one of the film's directors and producers, Matthew A. Cherry said, "This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant. May we all have a second act as great as his was."
The day of the accident, thousands gathered outside STAPLES Center at L.A. LIVE and a massive memorial with flowers, cards and gifts began to take shape. Impromptu shrines also sprang up at Kobe Bryant murals across the city. Venice-based muralist Jules Muck was the first street artist to create a new tribute mural - her "Kobe & Gigi Forever" was completed several hours after the tragedy. Numerous artists have since created memorial murals.
As the City of Los Angeles prepares for the public memorial, you can pay your respects at these Kobe and Gianna murals across LA. This article will continue to be updated as new murals are created.
Collective Lifestyle - Levi Ponce (2016)
Pacoima-based artist Levi Ponce created this Kobe Bryant mural at the Collective Lifestyle store in 2016. On Instagram, @collectivelifestylela posted: "RIP Kobe. You left too early. You will always be known as the one of the greatest legends to ever play the game. Thank you for teaching us the mamba mentality. Thank you for blessing us with your talent and love for the game."
8906 Reseda Blvd., Northridge 91324
The Container Yard - “Legends Are Forever” by Chris Chanyang Shim (February 2020)
Located in the Downtown L.A. Arts District, The Container Yard is a 60,000 square-foot event venue that's renowned for its street art, which includes works by Vyal One, NYCHOS, Tristan Eaton, Ricky Watts and many more. "Legends Are Forever" is the second piece at TCY by LA-based artist Chris Shim aka Royyal Dog.
Posted by @thecontaineryard: "The whole process of absorbing the actual impact of both the recent tragedies and the realization of who and what our city or all cities are comprised of for that matter has been unforgettable. The outpouring of love and support, the emotional camaraderie, pain and comfort, the unabashed sense of empathy and care... the closeness we so rarely encounter in our day to day... the sense of unity that we seem to feel so viscerally after such a wide-reaching tragedy... we are all human, our lives are fragile and years numbered... when I look at this mural, I see love, appreciation, determination, the hawk and the dove, a father and a fighter, a lover and a leader... It makes me feel nostalgic and heart warmed... and proud to be a part of this city... thank you Kobe."
The Container Yard
800 E. 4th St., Los Angeles 90013
Custom Auto Craft - Levi Ponce et al (February 2020)
The second Kobe Bryant mural by Levi Ponce is located at Custom Auto Craft in Hancock Park. Ponce designed and painted Kobe's portrait, while the rest of the mural was painted by other Northeast Valley artists.
@kiptoe1: "We never wanted to paint under these circumstances but we all felt the need to paint as a collective force to bring this memorial to life, celebrating a legendary life. Kobe was a inspirational figure on and off the court, showing extreme passion and drive for what he does every day and making it count. You will be missed. The community that came out to support was heartfelt, and I can safely say the legend will be cherished on this wall for a long time."
Custom Auto Craft
100 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles 90036
Downtown LA - “Los Angeles Culture” by Jonas Never (2016)
Jonas Never is perhaps best known for his "Touch of Venice" mural as well as his "Game of Thrones" mural at Brennan's. His memorial portraits include Nipsey Hussle, Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain. Painted in 2016, Never's "Los Angeles Culture" portrait of Kobe Bryant is tucked away on Lebanon Street a block from the LA Convention Center. In an IG post, Never said, "For everyone asking I’m gonna do a new wall for him this week... just been trying to find the perfect pic (and really didn’t want to rush this one)."
1337 Lebanon St (at Cameron Lane), Los Angeles 90015
Downtown LA Fashion District - "Mambas Forever" by @sloe_motions & @sensaegram (January 2020)
Located in the Downtown LA Fashion District, "Mambas Forever" is a collaboration between @sloe_motions and @sensaegram. From Tha Sloe's caption to the IG video: "Full wall, this specific wall and image means a lot to me.this pic is from when Kobe won a championship and Gigi was a baby,we went to the parade for this championship and we ended up walking thru this street during the parade and celebrating. I actually still have graffiti on this block from way back then, super meaningful to me."
Jimmy Jam T-shirts
1361 S Main St., Los Angeles 90015
Mr. Brainwash (January 2020)
A huge paste-up by LA-based artist Mr. Brainwash depicts Kobe and Gianna Bryant; on a side wall, Kobe is wearing his no. 8 jersey with one of his quotes in the background; there's also "MAMBA" and a tribute to all of the crash victims: "We Love You: Kobe, Gianna, John, Keri, Alyssa, Sarah, Payton, Christina, Ara." Visitors have been writing their personal messages on the mural.
Mr. Brainwash Studio (next door to Sparadise)
1255 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles 90019
Pickford Market - “Kobe & Gigi Forever” by Jules Muck (Jan. 26, 2020)
The first Kobe Bryant tribute mural was created by Venice-based artist muralist Jules Muck, who finished "Kobe & Gigi Forever" at the Pickford Market just hours after the tragic accident. Located just off Washington Boulevard in Mid-City, the mural quickly became a gathering spot for grief-stricken fans.
4566 Pickford St., Los Angeles 90019
The Pier House - Sophie Mazzaro (February 2020)
Local artist Sophie Mazzaro painted her Kobe Bryant mural at The Pier House in Venice Beach. A note on the mural reads: "This is a temporary location. Kobe's final mural will be transferred to the Venice Whaler for his forever tribute."
@mazzaro.art: "This has been the most emotional mural of my career so far. I wanted to pay tribute to one of the greatest athletes on this planet - and would have never thought it would turn out this way. Thank you to @thevenicewhaler and @pierhousevenice for providing us with the most perfect location for this tribute to a legend. Kobe was part of Los Angeles. Thank you for letting us honor him in the best way possible. The support of our neighborhood and community was overwhelming. Thank you for every single one of you that came by."
The Pier House
7 Washington Blvd, Venice 90291
Pink Dot - Jules Muck (January 2020)
Jules Muck's second Kobe Bryant tribute is located at Pink Dot on Sunset Boulevard. The mural was inspired by a story that Kobe shared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, back in 1996 when Bryant was new to the NBA and Fallon was a pre-SNL stand-up comic.
From @pinkdotla: "It’s been a hard week here in Los Angeles. Our love and prayers are with Kobe, Gigi, John, Keri, Alyssa, Christina, Sarah, Payton, Ara and all their families and friends. This mural is our tribute to their memories and our hope is that it brings Angelenos together to celebrate their lives."
8495 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood 90069
Priority Barber Club - Misteralek & Raya Kom (January-February 2020)
Misteralek created a portrait of Kobe Bryant on a wall behind Priority Barber Club in Signal Hill. Several days later, Long Beach-based Raya Kom (@komcepts_designs) added a portrait of Gianna next to her dad.
For his mural, @misteralek wrote: "Yo Kobe.. this one is for you man.. you always inspire me to take the lead to go all in.. to not let nothing stop to me from achieving my goals.. just like in this picture I see you focus and determine to win.. thank you for the countless memories.. la would not be the same without you..will miss you kobe."
Priority Barber Club
3390 Orange Ave, Signal Hill 90755
Shoe Palace - JCRo (2016)
Long Beach artist JCRo created this mural of Kobe Bryant in action at the Melrose location of Shoe Palace in 2016. In honor of Kobe's final NBA game on April 13, 2016, the portrait is made from 413 triangles. Kobe ended his career with a W, scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz at STAPLES Center. Since Bryant's death, the mural has been covered with Post-It Notes with messages from fans.
7725 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90046
Sorella Boutique - "Energy Never Dies" by Painted Prophet (in progress)
Sportie LA - @banditgraffiti (January 2020)
@banditgraffiti: "I’ve painted on the streets for ten years now and have had many different experiences however painting this tribute mural to Kobe and Gianna Bryant was unlike any other painting experience I’ve had. The entire time painting I had people coming up with tears in their eyes offering to either help, get me water, food, supplies, etc. I watched grown men tear up, families with daughters pose in front of the mural, and all walks of life come through to simply say thank you for the mural. It is tragic what happened to Kobe and all of those on board that helicopter but what happened in the city of Los Angeles following the tragedy was electrifying. In my years being in Los Angeles, I’ve never witnessed so much unity and respect from the community. People truly came together on a treasure hunt to seek out the new Kobe murals going up across the city. Kids, women, and men all dressed in Laker and Kobe attire talking with each other and mourning together. It’s hard to put into words what Los Angeles has become in the last 72 hours. You’d have to be there to understand. … Thank you @megzany and @sportiela for hooking up a wall space so quickly. @davenavarro @lifeafterdeathstreet for paint supplies, and Los Angeles for the energy you put out today."
In another IG post the next day, the artist invited the public to contribute to the mural: "Stop by and add your mark and words. … Remember, there were nine human lives that were lost. A few of them were teenage girls. Let’s continue the unity in Los Angeles."
7753 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046
STAPLES Center - "Welcome to LA" by Jonas Never (2019)
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of STAPLES Center's grand opening, Jonas Never created the "Welcome to LA" mural featuring LA champions, award winners and musicians:
- Kobe and Shaq hoist NBA championship trophies
- Kings captain Anze Kopitar raises the Stanley Cup
- Lisa Leslie with the Sparks' second consecutive WNBA Championship Trophy
- Clippers guard Lou Williams with his Sixth Man of the Year Award
- Kendrick Lamar at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards
- John Cena wins the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21
- Taylor Swift
VEM Exotic Rentals - Artoon (January 2020)
Art Gozukuchikyan (aka Artoon) painted this mural of Kobe and Gianna Bryant at VEM Exotic Rentals in Studio City. Artoon had previously painted Kobe murals - in "5 Rings" he's passing the ball to LeBron James, who had announced he would play for the Lakers. "I Am LA" depicts Kobe with his arms outstretched - his right hand is a black mamba with its jaws wrapped around a basketball.
In an interview with the LA Times, Gozukuchikyan said, “Life goes on. It’s on us to remember them. It’s not just art, it’s a documentation. We’re documenting what’s happening in modern times.”
VEM Exotic Rentals
11459 Ventura Blvd, Studio City 91604
Venice Beach - Nerja Malaga (January 2020)
Spanish tattoo artist Nerja Malaga (cheink84) painted this Kobe Bryant mural just off The Strand near the world-famous Venice Boardwalk.
The World of Vintage T-Shirts - Jazz Guetta (January 2020)
LA-based artist Jazz Guetta has two Kobe Bryant murals at the World of Vintage T-Shirts on Melrose. The first piece depicts Kobe in action on Melrose. A newer, larger portrait was painted on a space on Spaulding around the corner from the store (aka “The Melrose Wall” on Guetta's Mural Archive). Previous images on The Melrose Wall include "The Marathon Continues" (Nipsey Hussle), "H3ating Up" (Dwayne Wade), and "The Final Spike" (Rob Gronkowski).
The World of Vintage T-Shirts
7701 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90046