Kobe Bryant Celebration of Life: Designer Casket Honoring Lakers Star Is 'Nothing People Have Ever Seen'

Kobe Bryant's celebration of life will feature a custom memorial casket honoring the late NBA player on every front in a display like "nothing people have ever seen," designer Fletcher Collins told USA Today ahead of Monday's public memorial, which comes almost exactly a month after his death alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other victims in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

"I loved what he brought to the game," Collins said of Kobe, adding that being asked to design this custom casket by a friend of the Bryant family was a humbling experience. "I tried to capture everything about him."

"This is nothing people have ever seen. This is something I created," he continued. "And the whole vision behind it — I cannot take the pain away. I try to capture moments to bring back life, energy, and the inspiration of the loved ones and their legacy."

The casket has details honoring Kobe at every turn, painted largely in Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold with an overlay of the Staples Center basketball court, including 24-second shot clocks and baskets on each end. The Los Angeles skyline lines one side of the casket, while the center court at the top of the casket featuring five miniature NBA championship trophies representing Kobe's titles he won during his time on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Honoring daughter Gianna on one side of the casket are the words "RIP Gigi," as well as the phrase "Mamba Out" and the numbers 24, 8 and 2.

The casket cost $13,000, much of which was covered by donations, and took more than three days to complete. The names of the donors can be seen on a photo of Kobe's jersey that will be part of the memorial.


The celebration of life public memorial for the Bryants is being held at the Staples Center Monday at 10 a.m. PT. The service will also be live-streamed for those who weren't able to purchase tickets. Click here for more info.

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