Kobe and Gianna Bryant statue placed at crash site on 2-year anniversary of deaths

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The two-year anniversary of the deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others saw plenty of tributes, including a physical one at the site of the helicopter crash that rocked the basketball world.

A four-foot tall statue of the late Bryants was erected at the site on Wednesday by artist Dan Medina, per TMZ, with the date of the crash and all nine names of the crash victims written on the base of the statue.

"Heroes come and go, but legends are forever," the base reads under the names.

Plenty of others left their own mementos at the site Wednesday, including flowers, Los Angeles Lakers gear and pictures of Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

A statue to honor former Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Calabasas, Calif. The statue was carried by the artist, Dan Medina, on a trail near where Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people died in a helicopter crash two years ago Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
It's been two years since the crash that killed Kobe Bryant. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Medina told TMZ the 160-pound statue was only a temporary piece that will be gone by Thursday, but said it was his hope the city of Los Angeles would allow him to permanently place a larger, life-sized version at the site.

It's unclear if any of this was done with the blessing of the families of the victims, and their input would almost certainly be required for any kind of long-term tribute. Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa has been aggressive in her protection of her late husband's memory, an effort that has included an ongoing lawsuit against Los Angeles County over the alleged distribution of graphic crash site photos by several deputies.

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