The NBA legend will be honored with the display in February 2024
A statue of Kobe Bryant will soon be featured outside of the Los Angeles Lakers' Crypto.com Arena.
Kobe and their daughter 13-year-old Gianna died in a 2020 helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven others. His jersey numbers in Los Angeles were 8 and 24, while Gianna wore the number 2 when she played basketball, hence the 2/8/24 statue revelation date.
“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” Vanessa, 41, said in the clip. “Since arriving in this city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here, playing in the City of Angels."
"On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I am so honored that, right in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as 'The House That Kobe Built,' we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever," she said.
The video came complete with the caption, "Kobe’s legacy immortalized 2•8•24."
The NBA notes in a release that Kobe himself participated in planning the statue before his death.
It makes him the seventh Laker to be commemorated with a statue. He joins the likes of other Lakers legends Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn.
“Kobe Bryant was one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles,” Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss shared in a statement.
“There is no better place for Kobe to be honored with a statue than here, at the center of our city, where everyone can celebrate him and be inspired by his incredible achievements.”
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The statue was created by sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany, per the NBA.
Lakers VP of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka added that “Kobe’s transcendent spirit is always and forever in our hearts – inspiring us every day."
“And now, with the unveiling of this powerful and beautiful statue, he will have a physical presence, too. A place on the hallowed ground Kobe created, where we can all gather and pay honor to a mighty and great man.”
Since his death three years ago, tributes for Bryant have been plentiful. Earlier this month, Vanessa toasted her late husband with a denim jacket at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour — which featured an image of Swift and Kobe sharing the stage at the former Staples Center in 2015.
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