NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were buried Friday at a Southern California cemetery following their deaths January 26 in a helicopter crash, death certificates released Tuesday by Los Angeles County officials show.Their resting place is Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, the documents state. The cemetery is about two miles from the Pacific Ocean and less than a 10-minute drive from the family’s church, Our Lady Queen of Angels, in Newport Beach.No details about a graveside service were released.The Bryants are Catholic, and Kobe Bryant stopped by the parish’s chapel just hours before the fatal crash.The death certificates list Bryant as an “author, producer, and athlete” and his daughter as a “coach and student.”A public celebration of their lives is scheduled for February 24 at 10 a.m. PT at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. No information about tickets has been shared. The other victims of the crash — in the hills of Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles — were Gianna’s teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester; Alyssa’s parents, John and Keri; Payton’s mother, Sarah; assistant girls basketball coach Christina Mauser; and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.A memorial service for the Altobellis was held Monday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.The remains of the crash victims were returned to their families in early February, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.The cause of death for all nine victims was determined to be blunt force trauma, and the manner of death was certified as accident, the medical examiner’s office said.
The large media contingent, the packed house and the undoubtedly big TV audience indicated something important went down in Sin City on Friday night.For the Lakers and their frustrated fans, it was a glimpse into a bright future they pray begins immediately. One that will be anchored by the dynamic abilities of Russell and Clarkson, a pair of guards that offer youth, length, athletic ability, play-making skills, long-range shooting and slashing drives to the basket. “We (can have) a scary backcourt,” Russell said.And while all of those components were on display Friday night — wrapped around the rust, sloppiness and steep learning curve typically associated with summer league games — what they offer most is hope.And we all know the Lakers need plenty of that.With Kobe Bryant likely entering the final year of his illustrious career, and the Lakers now full-throttle in an uncertain rebuilding phase, they need to hit big on Clarkson and Russell.They provided an entertaining glimpse of what might be possible Friday night, and there were a few stretches and sequences when it wasn’t hard at all to imagine them meshing into the kind of dynamic backcourt NBA success requires these days.“It felt good,” Clarkson said. “We’ve been beating each other up in practice, so it was nice to play against someone else.”Clarkson, the Lakers’ surprise second-year guard, looked mid-season ready with 23 points and drew ohhs and ahhs with a resounding dunk and a handful of drives to the hoop.Russell, their 19-year-old, first-round pick from Ohio State, finished with eight points, six assists and three steals.But he also a few hiccups, like the three turnovers and the backcourt violation he was cited for late in the game when he mistook the college rule for the NBA version.“I didn’t know you couldn’t do that,” he said, sheepishly.The self critique didn’t end there.“I had a lot of mental mistakes. Not paying attention to my guy. Sleeping a little bit defensively,” Russell said. “Just little things you can do in college but you can’t get away with in the pros.”All of which is expected for a rookie playing his first professional game.But there were also comforting signs, especially as it relates to Clarkson and Russell as backcourt mates.They seemed comfortable playing with each other, with Russell at point guard finding Clarkson in transition for easy layups or out of half-court sets for open jumpers.“I think there were stretches where they looked very, very comfortable playing together and there was a lot of synergy,” said Lakers summer league coach Mark Madsen. And while their skill-sets are different, they offer enough similarities they can be interchangeable. And that gives the Lakers tremendous versatility.Both can handle the ball — either in transition or out of the half court — and with Clarkson’s outside shot improving, both can be spot-up shooters or put pressure on a defense standing on the perimeter as threats to shoot, drive to the basket or create open looks for each other and their teammates.“It’s going to be fun, “ Russell said, smiling.In a big-picture sense, it might the game-changer the Lakers desperately need.It’s difficult enough finding one guy who can do all those things, let alone two.And with Russell checking in at 6-foot-5 and Clarkson 6-4, they provide unique length to see over smaller guards and lanky coverage defensively.If Russell is everything he’s advertised, and if Clarkson continues to grow from his surprising rookie season, the Lakers have the kind of young, multi-faceted guard tandem that doesn’t just help win games, it also attracts the interest of free agents eager to play alongside teammates who make the game easier for them.Barely a week into his first summer league, Russell is already flashing some important skills necessary for a Lakers turnaround.“It might be a little too early to tell, but I’ve seen some gifts that he has that are special,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “His vision on the court is special. Every practice he does something that your eyes just kind of get a little bit wider.” All the more intriguing when you put him alongside Clarkson.It was only one summer league game.But you get the sense the Lakers and their young guards are selling more than just hope. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LAS VEGAS >> As initial steps go, this was a doozy.Gathered on one stage just off the Las Vegas strip you had the next Lakers superstar making his professional debut, a matchup between the first two overall picks in the NBA draft, the long-awaited return of Julius Randle and the first glimpse of the talented backcourt the Lakers hope will lead them to their next dominant era.And it all played out in front of a packed Thomas & Mack Center filled primarily with Lakers fans thirsty for something positive to cling to after spending the last few years in the very unfamiliar surroundings of NBA purgatory.The intrigue hung as thick as cigarette smoke in one of the nearby casinos. But for one of the main characters on this opening night, separating the hype of what seemed more like a playoff game than just a summer league game involving mostly rookies and second-year players was as easy as one of those effortless flick-of-the-wrist bounce passes he’s mastered. “I was just trying to break a sweat,” D’Angelo Russell summed up after playing his first game as a member of the Lakers.If only it was that simple.But the throng of reporters surrounding him suggested this was much more important than just a rookie dipping his feet in professional waters for the first time.Same goes for the media wrapup that proceeded it, this one involving Russell’s new running partner, Jordan Clarkson.