Kobe Bryant: Niagara Falls Lights Change Colors to Honor Lakers Icon Amid Celebration of Life

On the heels of the public Celebration of Life memorial for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant, one major landmark has paid tribute to the late basketball icon and his daughter. According to iHeartRadio.com, Niagara Falls was lit up in purple and gold, the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, in order to honor Bryant and Gianna, who died in a tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26 alongside seven others.

It was reported that both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls would be lit in the Lakers' colors from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on Monday. Not only did their tribute fall on the same day as the Celebration of Life, which took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the date (2/24) also reflects the combination of Gianna and Bryant's jersey numbers of 2 and 24, respectively.

The Niagara Gazette previously reported on Feb. 11 that the Falls would be lit up in tribute to the Bryants. The decision was carried out by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, which has financed and operated the "illumination of Niagara Falls" since 1925.

As previously mentioned, Niagara Falls' tribute fell on the same day as the Celebration of Life memorial for both Bryant and Gianna. Several figures spoke during the ceremony including Vanessa Bryant. When Vanessa took to the stage, she received a standing ovation from the crowd before she began her remarks.

"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanessa said towards the end of her speech. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."


One day after her emotional, love-filled speech, E! News reported that her decision to speak at the memorial was actually a "last-minute" decision.

"She, of course, was prepared with her speech either way, but keeping her tentative was a matter of how emotional she was and how comfortable she felt in that moment to make the speech," a source told the publication. "Nobody knew if she was going to do it until [Jimmy Kimmel] actually announced her."