Kobe Bryant memorial needs huge venue

Kobe Bryant's memorial service may be too big for the Staples Center.

A public event to honour the late basketball superstar - who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (26.01.20), along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others - is set to take place but will reportedly be held at the L.A. Coliseum rather than the home of his former team LA Lakers because of the volume of people expected to attend.

Sources told TMZ a meeting took place earlier this week to discuss where a memorial service will be staged in the next few weeks or even months, and a number of venues were considered.

While the Staples Center - which is known as The House That Kobe Built and where many fans have left tributes to their idol - was seen as the obvious choice, it's 20,000 capacity caused concern as organisers are expecting a considerably larger attendance.

The Coliseum - which holds around 80,000 people - was mooted as an option, as was the Rose Bowl and various nearby parks.

No decision has been made yet but the conversation "is underway."

Meanwhile, Kobe's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal has admitted he hoped the news of his friend's death was a hoax when he was first told.

He said: "It hit all of us out of nowhere. I didn't want to believe it.

"I said to my son, 'I hope some buttface made this up and it's not true', I didn't want to believe it. But then after getting all the calls... my spirit just left my body.

"I just wish I could be able to say one last thing to the people that we lost, because once you're gone, you're gone forever. We should never take stuff like that for granted."