The shirts, jerseys, posters, stuffed animals and vast number of personal messages left at Staples Center as tribute to Kobe Bryant after his tragic death will soon have a new home: the house of Bryant himself.
Bryant’s wife Vanessa has asked Staples Center’s operators if she and her family could keep the items left outside the arena in the week following the death of her husband, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Staples Center president Lee Zeidman told the Times that his organization intends to grant the request once his staff starts dismantling the makeshift memorial on Sunday after the Super Bowl:
“It will have been a week. We have contractually obligated events that are moving in,” he said. “Vanessa had reached out to us and said, ‘Our family would like the items out there.’ So we’re going to catalog every one of them. By that I mean, T-shirts, letters, basketballs, stuffed animals, toys. We’re going to put those in specially made containers and we’re going to ship them to the family.”
That timeline will have allowed the memorial to exist for a full week since the death of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash. The Lakers took a full five days from the tragedy to play their first game, which turned into an emotional night on Friday at Staples Center.
As for the perishable items — primarily flowers — left at Staples Center, Zeidman reportedly indicated that they will be composted and used around the L.A. Live facility:
“So we’re going to compost all those flowers out there and spread them around the plants in and around L.A. Live and in and around Staples Center,” Zeidman said. “So that means that all those fans that took the time to buy the flowers and plants and brought them down there, some of that will still be around the site.
Going forward, Zeidman suggested fans hoping to pay tribute to Bryant do so with donations to the Mamba Sports Foundation and its MambaOnThree Fund, which was set up to support the other families affected by the crash.
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