Lakers unveil first of 3 Kobe statues in emotional ceremony

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   February 9, 2024   Update on : February 9, 2024

Kobe statue
Photo: Courtesy/@Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have immortalized franchise legend Kobe Bryant by unveiling a towering 19-foot statue in an emotional ceremony at Crypto.Com Arena in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, reports AP.

The Lakers said this statue will serve as a permanent reminder of Kobe’s great Lakers legacy, where fans can honour him and remember his incredible basketball journey.

Bryant was known as “Black Mamba” during his 20-year Hall of Fame NBA career.

The 4,000-pound statue shows Bryant wearing his white No.8 jersey and pointing his finger skyward as the star walked off the court following his career-high, 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

During the dedication ceremony, Bryant’s widow Vanessa said the first of three statues will be created to honor the five-time NBA champion and top scorer in Lakers history.

Another statue will show Bryant in his No. 24 jersey. He wore this jersey for the second half of his career. The third will represent Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna who died with him and seven others in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

The idea came as Bryant wore the No. 8 jersey from 1996 to 2006, then switched to the No. 24 jersey for the rest of his career.

The first statue was unveiled at a function where dozens of Lakers greats and hundreds of season ticket holders attended.

Vanessa addressed the ceremony after remarks from team owner Jeanie Buss, former teammate Derek Fisher, Abdul-Jabbar, and longtime Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

Bryant, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, retired in 2016 after a 20-year career spent entirely with the Lakers.

His accomplishments included 18 NBA All-Star selections and two NBA Finals MVP awards.

Although his death has scarcely dimmed the shine of his presence in Los Angeles, he remains a beloved icon of his adopted city.

Bryant and his daughter appear in hundreds of vibrant public murals throughout the Southland.


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