LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The growing makeshift memorial which has taken over Xbox Plaza outside Staples Center for Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his teen daughter Gianna and the seven others who lost their lives in a helicopter crash last weekend is expected to be slowly taken down beginning Sunday.
The memorial will close to the public Sunday evening, Staples Center spokeswoman Cara Vanderhook confirmed to CBS2 in an email Saturday. It is being closed early due to a cold front which is expected to arrive in the Southland Sunday afternoon and bring powerful winds and possible rain showers.
“I just wanted to be here with all the other fans, and just enjoy this moment,” said fan Ryan Palma.
Tangible items such as basketballs, artwork and jerseys will be given to the Bryant family, according to Vanderhook.
A spokesperson for the Bryant family told CBS2 it’s still unclear what they will do with those items.
“The Bryant family is incredibly moved by the outpouring of tributes from the public,” said Molly Carter, president of Kobe, Inc. “No permanent decisions have been made about what to do with all the special items that have been left in Kobe and Gigi’s honor. However, the words, photos and mementos will be something for them to cherish forever and we appreciate the Staples Center helping preserve the tributes at this time.”
Staples Center president Lee Zeidman said in a statement that the Lakers asked L.A. Live and the Staples Center to collect, catalog and store all of the donated items until further direction was provided by the Bryant family.
“If she is able to see it, she’s able to look threw it on her own time and see how much the fans love him,” said fan Jenny Pham.
Biodegradable items will be composted and spread around the grounds. Flowers and plants will be made into mulch that will be placed in planters around Staples, Vanderhook said.
Dismantling the memorial is expected to take a couple of days.
“It’s a lot of love, it’s a lot of love,” said Sam Coleman who flew in from Texas to visit the growing memorial. “It’s Kobe man, the power he had, it’s motivation.”
At around 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 26, a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, two other teen girls, four parents and the pilot crashed in Calabasas amid foggy conditions.
The helicopter had departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County and was bound for Camarillo, with the passengers on board heading to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was set to coach Gianna in a tournament game.