Kobe Bryant
Photo credit: The Washington Post

MAJOR: The Lakers officially unveil a statue of Kobe Bryant

Published February 8, 2024 at 8:10 PM

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers unveiled a statue of their former star Kobe Bryant in front of their home ground at the Crypto.com Arena, just over four years following the champion's death in a helicopter crash.

The statue, crafted by sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany, was revealed at the end of a ceremony paying tribute to the 'Black Mamba,' even choosing the date: February 8, 2024, to coincide with the 24 and 8, the two numbers Bryant wore.

The sculpture depicts the player with his right index finger pointed towards the sky, a pose he struck upon exiting after scoring 81 points, his record, in January 2006 against the Toronto Raptors.

The ceremony, broadcast live on television, took place under a huge tent in front of a few dozen people. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, his former teammate Derek Fisher, his former coach Phil Jackson, and his widow Vanessa Bryant spoke at the event.

"This moment is not just for Kobe but for all of you who have supported him over the years," said Vanessa Bryant, who mentioned that Kobe Bryant would be honored with three statues in front of his former arena.

Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, died at the age of 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, near Los Angeles. He retired from professional sports in 2016.

The Lakers, now led by another star, LeBron James, are set to host the reigning champions Denver later in the evening.
February 8   |   1 answers
MAJOR: The Lakers officially unveil a statue of Kobe Bryant

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