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News / City Life

All of Los Angeles has gone purple and gold in honor of Kobe Bryant

All of Los Angeles has gone purple and gold in honor of Kobe Bryant
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo (left, center), Courtesy Timothy Norris/Forum Photos (right)

Five championships, 33,643 career points, 18 NBA All-Star Game appearances—and yet none of those numbers can properly tally just how much of an impact Kobe Bryant had on the lives of basketball fans and Angelenos.

The late Los Angeles Lakers superstar was among nine people who died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. His daughter Gianna was also on board with him, as were pilot Ara Zobayan, basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, and baseball coach John Altobelli, as well as his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.

The 41-year-old spent his entire two-decade career with the Lakers, and as early as Sunday evening, institutions across L.A. began showing their thanks, be it by lighting up purple and gold, posting photos or repping Bryant’s jersey numbers, 8 and 24. The memorials crisscrossed the city—and likely will continue to do so for the near future—with displays at L.A. City Hall, on the Wilshire Grand, the Santa Monica Pier, LAX and the Forum, where Bryant began his career with the Lakers.

Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Photograph: Courtesy Timothy Norris/Forum Photos

 

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Murals on Melrose and in DTLA became makeshift memorials, while Venice artist Jules Muck put together a fresh mural within hours of the news at 4566 Pickford Street.

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But amid all of the highly visible, proud displays, the largest gathering of fans has also been the most somber one. L.A. Live, which sits just across the street from the Lakers’ home at the Staples Center, has become the place for fans to assemble. Candles and wreaths started to pile up on Sunday against a fence that had been used to shut the area down for the Grammy Awards. By Monday, nearly every inch of the plaza’s perimeter was covered with candles, balloons, stuffed animals and jerseys, while much of the ground in the center became a canvas for handwritten tributes. 

 

Photograph: Michael Juliano

Photograph: Michael Juliano

Photograph: Michael Juliano

Photograph: Michael Juliano

Photograph: Michael Juliano

There were some elements you’d expect to find at a memorial of a local legend’s life: fans playing music and watching classic clips, and, yes, a bunch of people selling T-shirts, jerseys and purple-and-gold roses. But this wasn’t a celebration; a surreal sense of quiet and sadness has overtaken the plaza, and will likely continue to as Angelenos mourn Kobe Bryant.

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