Kobe Bryant's everlasting impact on the game of basketball and the city of Los Angeles was honored with the official unveiling of his statue outside Crypto.com Arena. The emotional ceremony paid tribute to the late Lakers legend and announced that two more tributes will be erected at a later date.
The bronze statue depicts Kobe pointing to the sky, a pose he personally chose to represent his historic 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. It also includes elements symbolizing the triangle offense and the five championships he won during his Hall of Fame career.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, his children, former Lakers players, team executives, and other notable figures. It took place on a symbolic date, 02/08/24, representing Kobe's two jersey numbers and the number worn by his daughter, Gigi.
Vanessa shared that there will be three different statues of Bryant, one for each of his jersey numbers and a third featuring Gigi. She humorously dismissed any potential criticism, stating that the statue perfectly captures what Kobe wanted.
Lakers fans have eagerly awaited this day since the tragic helicopter crash in January 2020 that claimed the lives of Kobe, Gigi, and seven others. As the bronze figure becomes accessible to the public in the coming days, it is expected that tributes and mementos will be left by fans to honor the basketball legend.
Kobe's statue now joins the impressive lineup of all-time greats outside Crypto.com Arena, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neal.
With an illustrious career that includes five NBA championships, two scoring titles, and numerous accolades, Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered as one of the greatest players to have donned a Lakers jersey. Over his 20-year career, he averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.