The Latest: Vanessa Bryant gets standing ovation at memorial

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Latest on the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in downtown Los Angeles (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

A host of NBA greats past and present are mourning at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

Jerry West, Phil Jackson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Pau Gasol and Steph Curry are among the crowd at Staples Center on Monday.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel introduced Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.

An emotional Vanessa thanked the crowd for coming, saying she’s received an outpouring of love.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

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10:55 a.m.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel says at a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna that the world could be “grateful for the time we had with them.”

An emotional Kimmel said Monday that a positive thing he found to take away from the tragedy was gratitude for the lives of the nine people killed last month in a helicopter crash and “the time we have left with each other.”

Kimmel said sports is unique in that it brings together people from various backgrounds to celebrate something they all love.

Nearly the entire crowd heeded Kimmel’s suggestion that they introduce themselves and shake hands and hug the people next to them. That was followed by a spontaneous chant of “Kobe.”

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10:45 a.m.

Fans attending the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are watching a video of highlights from the 20-year career of the former Los Angeles Lakers star.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, could be seen looking up at the big video screens with tears in her eyes.

The memorial began Monday at Staples Center with Beyonce singing her hits “XO” and “Halo.” Late night host Jimmy Kimmel spoke first.

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to the service filled the arena, where a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses has replaced the basketball court.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

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10:30 a.m.

The public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna has begun at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The memorial began Monday with a musical performance by Beyonce, who sang her song “XO.”

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to the service filled the arena, where a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses has replaced the basketball court.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter, saying the pilot killed in the crash was negligent and careless. ___

10:30 a.m.

The widow of Kobe Bryant has sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed in fog and killed her husband and her 13-year-old daughter last month.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant in Los Angeles says the pilot was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions Jan. 26 and should have aborted the flight.

Pilot Ara Zobayan was among the nine people killed in the crash.

The lawsuit was filed as a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all the victims was being held at the arena where Bryant played most of his career.

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10 a.m.

Los Angeles Lakers fans are pulling on commemorative T-shirts they were given of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at a public memorial for the two, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

Many fans are violating the cellphone use ban inside Staples Arena on Monday and are taking photos and videos.

It’s somber and people are chatting in whispers and leafing through programs from their seats as songs like Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” play in the minutes before the formal ceremony starts.

The memorial will feature speakers reflecting on Bryant’s impact on basketball and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant’s on-court achievements.

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9:45 a.m.

Los Angeles Lakers fans are filing into Staples Center to remember Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

The arena where Bryant played features a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses below the scoreboard that’s showing images of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.

Fans arriving for Monday’s public memorial service are being given a program that only contains photos, a purple KB pin and a T-shirt with photos of the father and daughter.

The concourse is a sea of purple, gold and black clothing.

Dozens of fans took photos with a mural inside Staples Center of Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal after a championship win.

Janel Alexander of Encino said the mural brought back good memories of “a moment in time that was better than today.”

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8:40 a.m.

While waiting for Kobe Bryant’s memorial services to begin in Los Angeles, Alyssa Shapiro says she was inspired to become a basketball player after watching countless Lakers games with her father, Rick Shapiro.

The family’s love of the game and Bryant’s work in women’s sports prompted her to become a middle school girls’ basketball coach. Her team played the team of Bryant’s daughter Gianna, who died with her father and seven others in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash.

Alyssa Shapiro said before the memorial service Monday for Bryant and his daughter that she watched Bryant cheer for Gianna from the stands.

She held homemade heart-shaped “Kobe” and “Gigi” signs ahead of the memorial service and said she “just wanted to thank him for being such an inspiration to me.”

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7:30 a.m.

Fans are arriving hours early for the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna that will be held in downtown Los Angeles

Among them is 72-year-old Bob Melendez, who says he has been a Lakers season ticket holder for 40 years.

Melendez says that after seeing Bryant play for many years he couldn’t imagine missing Monday’s memorial at Staples Center.

His friend Tom Ling says he couldn’t believe it when heard of Bryant’s death.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

The memorial is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Los Angeles time.

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12: 30 a.m.

Thousands of mourners are expected to gather at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to say farewell to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

The basketball superstar and his 13-year-old daughter will be honored in a public memorial at the arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant died along with seven others on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.

The memorial will feature speakers reflecting on Kobe Bryant’s impact on his sport and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant’s on-court achievements. Bryant became active in film, television and writing after he retired from basketball in 2016.

Bryant’s family, dozens of sports greats and many major figures in Bryant’s public life are expected to attend.

Kobe Bryant’s parents Joe and Pam Bryant arrive for a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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