Kobe & Gigi Bryant's Bodies Have Been Released To Their Family

Kobe and Gigi Bryant's remains have been given to their family, The Blast reports.

According to the outlet, after the father and daughter's identities were confirmed and their cause of death was determined, the Los Angeles Coroner's Office released their bodies to their loved ones for their final resting.

Kobe and Gigi were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, CA. The nine passengers, which included parents and players from the Mamba Sports Academy girls’ team, were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks. While the crash remains under investigation, early reports suggest that heavy fog was possibly to blame for the accident.

 

On Friday (January 31), the Lakers paid tribute to Kobe, Gigi, and the seven other passengers on the helicopter, during the team's first game since the fatal helicopter crash. Usher performed "Amazing Grace," Boyz II Men sang an emotional rendition of the National Anthem, Cellist Ben Hong performed while two emotional video tributes played to the packed crowd, and Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth performed their heartbreaking record "See You Again."

Following the musical performances, LeBron James addressed the crowd with a speech "from his heart."

"As I look around this arena, we're all grieving. We're all hurt. We're all heartbroken. But when we're going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family," he shared. "And from Sunday morning all the way to this point -- and I've heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year, about how much of a family it is -- and that's absolutely what I've seen all week."

"Now I know at some point, we will have a memorial for Kobe," LeBron continued. "But I look at this as a celebration tonight. This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything. The countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight, we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we've seen over the past three years, man. Tonight is a celebration."

 

Ahead of the game, Kobe's previous jersey numbers — #8 and #24 — were placed on seats throughout the Staples Center. The Lakers additionally placed Kobe's #24 Lakers jersey and Gigi's #2 Mamba Academy jersey on two courtside chairs, which also had a bouquet of roses placed on them.

Vanessa Bryant later shared a photo of the tribute on her Instagram, writing "there is no #24 without #24." She also added the hashtags #GirlDaddy and #DaddysGirl.

Photo: Getty Images

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