Staples Center will be hosting a public memorial service on Monday to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven others that died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash. Thousands of fans will be on hand to pay their respects, as will the Boston Celtics. One member of the team, Jaylen Brown, told Jay King of The Athletic that "it's special" that they can attend the service.
"We're so thankful and humble and appreciative of what he added to the game," Brown said. "Any time you get the opportunity to thank the basketball gods for delivering Kobe Bryant, we'll try to do that."
The Eastern Conference team is facing off with their longtime rivals on Sunday but will not be heading back to Boston following the game. The Celtics will stick around in the City of Angels in order to attend the memorial service and show respect for the late NBA icon.
The two teams play in different conferences, but their rivalry is one of the most storied in NBA history. These are the two teams that have won the most championships in the league. The Celtics have won 17, including 11 during Hall of Famer Bill Russell's 13-year career. The Lakers, on the other hand, have won 16 championships. Bryant was part of the team for five of these wins.
While the Celtics will be on hand for the memorial service on Monday, there are hundreds of thousands of Bryant fans that will not be able to attend. They will instead be forced to watch from home but will have plenty of options available to achieve this goal.
ABC News will share coverage of the memorial on ABC News Live, which will have commercial-free streaming coverage anchored by Tom Llamas. The coverage will be live from Los Angeles and is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT on Roku, Hulu, Xumo, Sling TV, Facebook Watch, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and the ABC News mobile app. In addition, ABC NewsOne will provide full coverage with correspondent Elena Gomez reporting from the Staples Center.
The date of Monday's service is important considering that it pays tribute to both Bryant and his daughter. Gianna wore No. 2 while Bryant wore No. 24 during the latter half of his career. The year, 2020, corresponds to the number of years that he spent with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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