Kobe Bryant Public Memorial Removed From Staples Center

A man spray paints a memorial tribute near Staples Center before the first Lakers game since former NBA star Kobe Bryant - Getty - H 2020
David McNew/Getty Images

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, had requested items, which were to be catalogued and shipped to the family. Flowers will be composted and spread around plants near Staples Center.

A massive memorial created by the public outside Staples Center after the death of former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was being dismantled Monday, with an official saying some of the items would go to Bryant's widow and other family members.

The cleanup of flowers, balloons, jerseys, stuffed toys and basketballs began at 4 a.m., Staples Center president Lee Zeidman tweeted. A fence was erected around the site to keep the cleanup out of public view.

Fans spontaneously began creating the memorial in a plaza outside the arena as word spread that Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in suburban Calabasas. The memorial kept growing for a week. Personal messages were written on many of the items.

"Truly amazing the outpouring of love from the City of Angels in honor of the 9 who lost their lives 1/26/20," Zeidman said. By midmorning Monday, he said, more than 1,350 basketballs had been boxed up.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, had requested items, which were to be catalogued and shipped to the family. Flowers will be composted and spread around plants near Staples Center.

Fans were urged to donate to a Bryant foundation rather than bring more gifts and flowers.