In the week since Kobe Bryant's tragic death, grieving fans have flocked to the Staples Center to mourn the late NBA legend. Exterior shots of the venue show a large assortment of flowers, balloons, candles, and countless mementos. But as the days go by, some have wondered what will happen to all the items once the makeshift memorial is inevitably removed. According to the Staples Center president, many of them will go to the Bryant family, per Vanessa Bryant's request.
"It will have been a week. We have contractually obligated events that are moving in," Lee Zeidman told the Los Angeles Times. "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."
Zeidman said the Staple Center's team plans to start clearing out the items following Super Bowl Sunday. He told the outlet that perishable items, specifically plants and flowers, will be turned into compost, which will then be spread around the greenery.
"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," he explained. "... Our goal is to somehow have it cleaned up as we relate to the middle of next week and we’re asking people — we’re going to put signage all around LA Live and Staples Center — if you still feel the need to do something, you can certainly come down here. But we hope that you wouldn’t bring any gift and flowers, but that you donate to the Mamba Foundations that they’ve already set up. Then we try to get back to whatever normalcy is around the campus."
On Friday night, the Lakers hosted the Trail Blazers for their first game since Kobe and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash last Sunday. The game was preceded by a tribute ceremony that featured musical performances as well as a eulogy delivered by LeBron James. Vanessa and her three other daughters did not attend the event; however, the 37-year-old did post a photo of Kobe and Gianna's jerseys displayed on courtside seats: "There is no #24 without #2," she captioned the image.