Nearly a month after Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a tragic helicopter crash, a memorial service was held today at the Staples Center to honor their memory. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, Hornets owner Michael Jordan, and Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant were among those who spoke at the emotional event, as an ESPN story outlines.
In addition to publicly mourning her late husband on Monday, Vanessa Bryant has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters Inc. and the “representative or successor” of pilot Ara Zobayan, per an ESPN and Associated Press report. The lawsuit claims that Zobayan was careless and negligent by flying in poor weather conditions rather than aborting the flight.
Here’s more on the Lakers and their late superstar:
- Dave McMenamin of ESPN has an in-depth look at how Lakers players and staffers found out about Bryant’s death on January 26. The team was flying from Philadelphia to Los Angeles following a five-game road trip when the news broke, making for a somber, miserable cross-country flight.
- On his latest Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst confirms that the Lakers met with Dion Waiters last week, as was expected. According to Windhorst (hat tip to RealGM), the team is “mulling” the idea of signing him, since it could use “perimeter player who can score a little bit.” However, L.A. will want to see what sort of condition the veteran guard is in. An earlier report suggested the Lakers may have to be won over by Waiters in the same way they were by Dwight Howard last summer.
- In case you missed it, the Lakers officially signed Markieff Morris on Sunday, waiving DeMarcus Cousins to make room on the roster. As we relayed earlier today, Cousins and the Lakers are said to have mutual interest in a new deal in the offseason.