Shaquille O’Neal isn’t sure what role he’ll play in Kobe Bryant’s memorial.
The late basketball legend and his daughter Gianna – who were among nine people who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash last month – will both be remembered in a public memorial at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on February 24, and Shaq expects to be in attendance to pay tribute to his friend.
He told Extra: “I haven’t talked to anybody yet, but I’m sure I will be there.”
The 47-year-old retired basketball player admitted he is struggling to cope with Kobe’s passing.
He said: “I’m not doing good.”
Tickets to the memorial are priced at either $224 or $24.02, with proceeds benefiting the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was set up by Kobe and was previously known as the Mamba Sports Foundation before his widow Vanessa Bryant altered the name to honour Gianna as well as Kobe.
The recurrence of the numbers 2 and 24 comes as Kobe wore a number 24 jersey for most of his career with the LA Lakers, and Gianna wore jersey number 2 at the Mamba Sports Academy.
It was previously reported that the public memorial will begin at 10 am on February 24, and organizers have already allocated tickets to a large number of invited guests made up of family members, friends, celebrities, and current and former stars from the NBA.
The event will also honour the other seven people who lost their lives in the crash, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The memorial will be televised, and there are reportedly no plans for a procession or other events outside of Staples Centre.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed plans for the memorial last month, when he said: “There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there.”