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Kobe’s & Gianna’s First Annual Memorial Has Arrived

Fans Look For Ways To Commemorate and Celebrate The Lives of Kobe and Gianna

Photo Gallery Credit: USA Basketball Camp & Game, Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene

(East Los Angeles, CA) January 26, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: And, yes, that unfortunate, sad day and that inevitable arrival time has come today, January 26th, for the solemn memorialization of the NBA’s and Lakers Legend, #8/#24 – Kobe “Bean” Bryant, and his beautiful young daughter, Gianna (“GiGi”).

For those Kobe fans and many thousands more, who were not aware, the Lakers will not hold any type of public commemoration of his tragic and untimely death. The Bryant Family, for their privacy reasons will more than likely commemorate both his and Gianna’s passing in a very private manner. There will obviously be much regular “Top News Storiesof the day media, as well as social media coverage throughout, in what could be a very long day of mourning and/or celebrating Kobe’s Lakers playing legacy, coupled with memories of his unforgettable moments spent with his Little Angel, GiGi. To complete the totality of Kobe’s imprint on the game, it can now be said that he certainly has left a new “style of play” that is slowly, but surely, becoming a uniquely instilled player “mind-set” called, the “Mamba Mentality.” 

Our visual focus on Kobe in this story and homage, reflects on his time spent as a member of USA Basketball’s (USAB) Men’s National Team during their preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. One of several training sites was UNLV’s Cox Pavilion complex that occurred in the month of July. The customary “Blue vs. White” Exhibition Game or Intra-Squad Game was played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Arena. This was the final look by USA Basketball Chairman, Jerry Colangelo and his Coaching staff at selecting the 12 man Olympic roster. The match-up was played before a “sell-out” crowd of 18,000 delirious, but very happy fans who came out to see many of their NBA favorite players compete under FIBA and its International rules. Needless to say, Kobe was extremely high on everyone’s list.

(Photo Gallery Credits): Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene

This photo gallery offers you our exclusive pictures  taken from our East L.A. Sports Scene archives, and were captured during the Camp and the Game, by our longtime video & photo journalist, Erik Sarni. We hope you will enjoy taking a rare, but in-depth look at the practice session and the customary “Blue” vs. “White” Exhibition game that was played as the final event of the four-day camp. We’ve also added some recent photos and graphics to round our gallery.

Now, let’s take a quick look at Kobe’s play as an Olympian. In total, he earned two Gold Medals during his play with our Olympic Team. His first medal came during the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. He won his second Gold Medal during the 2012 London Olympic Games. He averaged 15.0 points per game in Beijing and 12.1 in London, giving him an overall average of 13.6 as Kobe displayed his overall excellence by playing his position at the highest level, while keeping his teammates totally focused on bringing back the Gold to our country. It could be said by team watchers and fans of his Olympic-style play, that Kobe adapted his offensive talents to those of a dedicated and respectful team player who recognized the incredible talents of his teammates who surrounded him during the two Olympic Games tournaments he competed in.

Although we are still in the midst of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, for many local fans, there will most likely be a number of small and private ways they will create to commemorate and celebrate Kobe’s and Gianna’s lives. There are already a number of fantastic tributes to them in the form of professionally designed and highly graphic murals located all across the City and County. Whatever your particular choice to honor and memorialize Kobe and Gianna may be on this day, we hope that it will be a most memorable, and a safe one!!

And speaking of murals, we invite you to take another good look at the special, featured story we did last year after the tragic accident, when we interviewed, our Boyle Heights resident muralist, Jorge Parrales, and his crew, who put up one of the most outstanding and captivating murals dedicated to Kobe and Gianna, entitled “Lost Angels.”  

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