EVENT ENDED

Live blog: Kobe Bryant and Gianna honored in emotional memorial service

Thousands gathered Monday to pay tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

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Basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were remembered at an emotional public tribute Monday, as thousands of mourners gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, an organization that "exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant's legacy through charitable endeavors in sports," according to its website.

Read the latest updates:

Live Blog

Powerful start to the memorial: Beyoncé sings one of Kobe's favorite songs

Beyoncé, dressed in gold and bathed in purple light, took center stage at the beginning of the memorial. The crowd at the Staples Center erupted in applause.

Backed by a choir and musicians dressed in white, Beyoncé opened with her 2013 hit "XO" — which she said was one of Kobe's favorite songs. She then belted out "Halo," bringing her hands to her lips at the song's climax.

Fellow Lakers legends in attendance

Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson, the team's former coach, were among those in attendance.

NBA great Magic Johnson, top, former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and others attend a public memorial at the Staples Center for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Sabrina Ionescu pens tribute to 'mentor' Kobe

Sabrina Ionescu, a point guard for the Oregon Ducks and one of the speakers at the memorial, shared a tribute to Kobe that was published by The Players' Tribune on Monday.

Ionescu called Kobe a mentor and said that his death left her with "questions about my own path." 

"He didn't see growing the game with girls as his hobby, or some side project, or a charity case," Ionescu, who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft, wrote. "He saw it as a movement." 

Somber mood inside a normally energetic Staples Center

LOS ANGELES — The mood inside the Staples Center is incredibly somber. Many people are dressed in black, with Lakers purple and yellow scattered about. Usually bursting with energy, today the arena very much feels like a memorial as fans mourn the man many saw as a hero. 

Memorial attendees provide window into event via Snapchat

People attending the memorial are providing unique, first-person views of the event through Snap Maps, which collects content uploaded to particular locations.

Athletes share how Kobe inspired them to be a #GirlDad

Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics and Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers spoke with ESPN about how Kobe inspired them as fathers of young girls.

Vanessa Bryant files wrongful death suit

LOS ANGELES — Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death suit against the helicopter company involved in the January crash that killed her Kobe and Gianna, as well as seven other people.

The suit against Island Express Holding Corp of Fillmore, California, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorneys representing Vanessa Bryant. Filed just before the memorial, the lawsuit alleges the company put the helicopter in the air when conditions were not safe for flying.

This is a developing story. Read more here.

Where are you sitting for the Kobe's memorial? It depends how much you paid.

Like any other event Staples Center, where you're sitting for Monday's Kobe Bryant memorial depends on how much you spent on your ticket. 

The Lakers partnered with Ticketmaster to sell a select number of tickets to the general public who had registered online. The tickets were priced at three tiers: $224 each, $224 for two or $24.02 each, the Lakers said.

One Twitter user reported being offered a $24.02 ticket in Section 302, row 13 of the arena, just two rows from the very top of the building. 

Another netizen reported buying two $224 tickets, so $448 total, landing downstairs in the comfort of section PR7. Tickets sales will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit honoring Kobe and Gianna's legacy "through charitable endeavors in sports."

 

 

Commemorative tickets handed out at Staples Center

Long lines form as fans and mourners head into Staples Center

LOS ANGELES — Long lines have formed outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles as fans roll into the memorial. The scene is calm and orderly, with no indications of large disruptions from un-ticketed fans. The memorial slated as a "Celebration of Life" is expected to start soon. 

The history of tears (of joy and sorrow) at Staples Center

Even before Kobe Bryant's admirers and well-wishers filled the Staples Center on Monday, the home of basketball's Lakers and Clippers and hockey's Kings has seen its share of memorable wins and sad memorials. 

The Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup there in 2012 and 2014, while the Lakers clinched two of Bryant's five NBA titles (2012, 2014) inside the arena just south of downtown L.A.  But the building has also been the scene of sad and grand sendoffs.

Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson at Michael Jackson's memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7, 2009.Mark J. Terrill / AP Pool

Fans of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle packed Staples Center 10 months ago to celebrate the beloved performer

Michael Jackson's star-studded memorial was also held there July 7, 2009. Bryant and Magic Johnson were among the mourners inside Staples Center that day.