LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — More than 1,300 basketballs, around 5,000 signs, and about 25,000 candles were just part of the items collected from the memorial at L.A. Live’s Xbox Plaza in honor of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the other seven people killed in a helicopter crash.
The removal, which began at 4 a.m., deconstructed the growing memorial comprised of 1,353 basketballs, 14 banners, more than 25,000 candles, about 5,000 signs, letters and flags, over 500 stuffed animals and 350 pairs of shoes, according to Staples Center President Lee Zeidman.
Although the area was closed to the public beginning Sunday evening, fans began to build a new memorial outside the gates Monday morning. According to CBSLA’s Jake Reiner, Staples Center employees continued to collect the new mementos even after the cleanup began.
You really get an idea of just how many basketballs people brought to the Kobe memorial outside Staples as crews separate them from the flowers, etc. #RIPKobeBryant | @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/5NRpex9Iz7
— Jake Reiner (@Reiner_Jake) February 3, 2020
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.
During the cleanup, a 40-yard roll-off trash bin was filled with flowers that will be made into mulch and spread throughout the landscaping around L.A. Live and Staples Center “so that the love all of the fans brought to L.A. Live lives on,” Zeidman said in a tweet.
“On behalf of all us who work /L.A. Live thank u to those who have come downtown peacefully and respectfully to pay their respects to Kobe and Gianna Bryant and rest assured that the tributes u have left will be delivered to the Bryant family,” he said.