Iconic Tribute: Kobe Bryant’s Statue Revealed, Cementing His Legend in Lakers History

The city of Los Angeles, famously known as the home of the Lakers, has forever intertwined its identity with the legendary Kobe Bryant. Honoring the late NBA icon, who dedicated his entire illustrious 20-year career to the Lakers, a towering 19-foot bronze statue now stands proudly outside the Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena- Crypto.com Arena.

Kobe Bryant bronze statue
Bronze statue of Kobe Bryant at Crypto.com Arena. By Eric Thyer AP

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Choosing a special day

The ceremony held on Thursday, February 8, 2024. The date of the ceremony 2/8/24 was symbolic. No. 2 was the jersey number of Kobe’s daughter and aspiring basketball player Gianna Bryant, and her father wore both No. 8 and No. 24 during his Hall of Fame career.

The First of Three

During the Unveiling ceremony, Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, shared that this statue marks the inaugural installment of a trilogy intended to honor the legacy of the five-time NBA champion and Lakers’ all-time leading scorer.

The monumental 4,000-pound bronze statue was the first of three statues to be unveiled. In this statue Kobe Bryant can be seen wearing his iconic white No. 8 jersey, pointing up his right index finger, reminiscent of his historic 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006.

“As I see today’s current generation of star players follow in Kobe’s footsteps with huge scoring games, I know he would take pride in knowing that he is still pouring inspiration into the game that was so special to him,” Vanessa Bryant said.

One of the subsequent statues will portray Bryant in his renowned No. 24 jersey, which he wore in his latter part of illustrious career, and another will be of Bryant alongside his daughter, Gianna, who tragically perished alongside him and seven others in a helicopter accident in January 2020.

It was Vanessa Bryant who came up with the idea of the three statues.

The unveiling Ceremony

The ceremony drew a distinguished crowd, including numerous Lakers’ greats like Jerry West to Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former head coach Phil Jackson.

Other attendees include, Jeanie Buss, former teammate Derek Fisher.

Honoring a Legacy of Kobe Bryant

The statue’s pedestal bears the inscription “Kobe Bean Bryant,” accompanied by his iconic nickname, “Black Mamba,”. Encircled by five replicas of Larry O’Brien Trophies, symbolic of his five NBA championships. Additionally, the base features the box score from his 81-point game, along with a Bryant quote: “Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.”

Joining the league of Legends

Kobe Bryant’s legacy continues to ascend as he becomes the sixth Lakers player and seventh team member to be honored with a statue in Star Plaza outside of the arena known as the Staples Center throughout Bryant’s career. He joins the esteemed ranks of Lakers luminaries including Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.

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