Tag: Kobe Bryant

When Kobe Came to Play

Kobe Bryant salutes the crowd after his last game at Atlanta in December 2015. (Getty Images) Venues industry veterans shared their unique perspectives on Kobe Bryant’s impact both on and off the basketball court. Mike McGee, former general manager of the Houston Summit and part owner of the NBA’s Rockets, recalled that Bryant’s father Joe played for the team in 1982-83 and Kobe was a ball boy. “I used to run him out of the Summit after practice and after games because he’d just want to sit out there and shoot,” McGee said. “He’d get all the other ball boys and they’d be out there with a pickup game going on.” McGee said he ran into Bryant four years ago at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Newport Beach, Calif., near where Kobe lived, “and I walked over to him and said, ‘Hey Kobe, you probably don’t remember me,’ and he […]

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‘Something I’ll Never See Again in My Life’

SHARING THEIR SADNESS: Mourners gather outside Staples Center to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant after his death in a helicopter crash. (Getty Images) Lee Zeidman on how Staples Center helped a city deal with its grief after Kobe Bryant’s death Over his 35-year career, Staples Center President Lee Zeidman has coordinated six memorials for sports personalities, musicians and other dignitaries.  First, it was Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play legend Chick Hearn in 2002, followed by pop icon Michael Jackson (2009), Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss (2013), longtime Grammys producer John Cossette (2014) and rapper Nipsey Hussle (2019). For Zeidman, though, no tribute had more impact than the one after the death of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, a future basketball hall of famer and a beloved figure in Los Angeles sports history. Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.  Zeidman and Bryant […]

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