Kobe Bryant Honored with 19-Foot Bronze Statue at Lakers' Arena

Los Angeles Lakers Celebrate Kobe Bryant with Statue Unveiling

by Zain ul Abedin
Kobe Bryant Honored with 19-Foot Bronze Statue at Lakers' Arena
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In a moving tribute to one of basketball's most iconic figures, the Los Angeles Lakers unveiled a monumental 19-foot bronze statue of Kobe Bryant outside their downtown arena, symbolizing the lasting legacy of a player who redefined the sport.

The statue, weighing a remarkable 4,000 pounds, captures a quintessential moment in Bryant's career: his triumphant exit from the court with his index finger raised, commemorating his extraordinary 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006.

Kobe Bryant© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Crafted in Bryant's likeness wearing his white No. 8 jersey, the statue serves as a timeless homage to a player who left an indelible mark on the game and its fans. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow, expressed during the dedication ceremony that this is the first of three statues to be erected in his honor.

The forthcoming statues will portray Kobe in his No. 24 jersey, representing the latter part of his career, and a poignant depiction of Kobe alongside his daughter, Gianna, who tragically perished with him and seven others in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Kobe's Legacy Honored

The unveiling event, a convergence of Lakers legends and fervent fans, was graced by heartfelt speeches from Vanessa Bryant, team owner Jeanie Buss, former teammate Derek Fisher, NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and legendary Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

Jeanie Buss encapsulated the sentiment of the day, saying, "I think of Kobe constantly, and I miss him and Gigi more than words can say. But today, I’m filled with joy”. The statue's base is inscribed with "Kobe Bean Bryant" and his renowned nickname, "Black Mamba," beneath which lies a replica of the box score from his historic 81-point game.

A Bryant quote adorns the base, urging future generations to "Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend." This memorial is surrounded by five replicas of the Larry O'Brien Trophy, symbolizing the championships he won with the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bryant's statue joins an elite group of Lakers luminaries and personnel, including Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and announcer Chick Hearn, who have been similarly immortalized outside the arena, known as the Staples Center during Bryant's tenure.

This tribute stands not just as a celebration of Bryant's achievements but as a beacon of inspiration and a reminder of the indomitable spirit he embodied on and off the court.

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles