Nobody is praying “to Kobe” except maybe his family. Sometimes I “pray to” my late relatives for them to put in a good word for me. Perhaps his wife and children do the same.
But there is not a big Church movement to pray to Kobe.
If someone individually, perhaps a big Lakers fan who followed Kobe’s whole career, wants to ask Kobe to put in a good word for them if/when he is capable, that’s perfectly okay.
Kobe has not somehow achieved sainthood and no one is saying that he has.
Not sure what your big issue is here.
And many of us pray for all of those souls. I believe I even put a prayer for them on one of the Kobe prayer threads.
There are also tons of prayer threads, Purgatorial Societies, and private devotions you can pray for those souls, if you’d like to be part of the solution here.
I don’t post a billboard every time I pray for some forgotten souls.
I don’t think the other people who daily pray for souls in Purgatory do that either, and I shouldn’t have to, it’s between me and God.
I think you’re just lecturing everybody over a “problem” that exists only in your head.