Kobe Bryant memorial outside Staples Center is being taken down

The Kobe Bryant memorial outside Staples Center is being taken down. The arena began removing the items early Monday morning, and were still working on the project hours later.

Staples Center president Lee Zeidman tweeted that over 1,300 basketball have been collected and will be donated to Vanessa Bryant. He thanked fans for their “outpouring of love” for Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the other victims who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in January.

The stadium has erected a wall around the area to prevent the clean up from being seen publicly. Zeidman said Feb. 1 that the process of taking down the memorial would begin after the Super Bowl.

The memorial was not organized by the Staples Center. It was a spontaneous gesture from fans looking to celebrate Bryant’s life together. Thousands of Lakers fans stopped by the arena in the days following Bryant’s death. Many left basketball or flowers or other items to pay tribute to Bryant.

Vanessa Bryant requested that all the items collected from the memorial be sent to her. In her first public statement since losing Kobe and Gianna, Vanessa Bryant urged fans to donate to MambaOnThree Fund. On Tuesday, the Staples Center encouraged fans to do the same.

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