Los Angeles Lakers To Honor Kobe Bryant With Statue, Date Pays Homage To Daughter Gianna
The Los Angeles Lakers and the widow of the late great Kobe Bryant, Vanessa, announced plans to unveil a statue of the five-time NBA champion in front of the Crypto.com Arena on Feb. 8, 2024.
In a video posted on what would have been his 45th birthday, Bryant’s widow confirmed that her husband’s 20-year contribution to the Lakers organization, as well as his impact on the game of basketball, will be commemorated with a permanent monument in front of “The House That Kobe Built” on a date that honors both he and their late daughter, Gianna; one of nine people killed in a tragic helicopter accident on Jan. 26, 2020. “Hi everyone. As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” Bryant said in a video posted to her Instagram account. “Since arriving in the city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here, playing in the ‘City of Angels.’ I’m 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 a statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever.”
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The couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, wore No. 2 during her time playing youth basketball, which the Lakers organization explained in their own announcement of the celebratory occasion. Team owner Jeanie Buss paid her respects to Bryant, saying, “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. 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.” The 18-time All-Star will join other Laker greats, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who have had statues erected in their honor outside the stadium.