Report: Lakers will not commemorate 1st anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s death in any manner

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are making no plans to commemorate the first anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death on Tuesday, in part to avoid dredging up some of the controversies that developed in the wake of the tragedy.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin also indicated that the searing pain from Bryant’s loss continues to resonate throughout the organization, which is why the team will avoid any prominent effort to honor the Laker icon’s legacy.

“With emotions still raw, the Lakers organization has no plans to make this Tuesday, Jan. 26, any more difficult than it already will be by placing any further emphasis on the anniversary, sources told ESPN,” McMenamin wrote. “There will be no Black Mamba uniforms worn Monday in Cleveland, the day before the anniversary, or Wednesday in Philadelphia, the day after. There will be no formal tribute, which could potentially draw more attention to the harrowing details of the accident and cause more trauma than healing.”

The 41-year-old Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash last January, with litigation resulting in the aftermath of their deaths due to multiple controversies.

That issue and lingering pain that many of the Lakers players and staff members have dealt with over the past year make the idea of a quiet reflection and mourning a better alternative to any public note of remembrance.

The elder Bryant played all 20 of his NBA seasons with the Lakers and was elected posthumously to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Rather than focusing on the end of his life on Tuesday, the Lakers have made the decision to allow those in the organization to quietly remember one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.