Los Angeles Lakers Unveil Long-Awaited Kobe Bryant Statue


Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers unveiled a statue of Kobe Bryant, the legendary player who spent his entire 20-year career with the franchise and led them to five NBA championships.



The statue, which depicts Bryant’s career-high 81-point game in 2006, was revealed in a ceremony attended by his family, former teammates, coaches, and fans.

The date of the unveiling, 2/8/24, was chosen to honor both numbers that Bryant wore during his career, as well as the number 2 that his daughter Gianna wore playing basketball. Gianna, along with seven others, died with Bryant in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.

The statue, which stands 19 feet high and weighs 4,000 pounds, was sculpted by Julie Rotblatt Amrany, who also created the statues of other Lakers legends such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal. The bronze statue shows Bryant with his right arm in the air, holding the ball after scoring one of his 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.

The statue is surrounded by five championship trophies, representing the titles that Bryant won with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2010. The statue also features the names of Bryant’s four daughters, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri, as tattoos on his arm, as requested by his wife Vanessa.

The base of the statue is shaped like a triangle, a nod to the triangle offense that Bryant played under coach Phil Jackson, who was among the speakers at the ceremony. The base also includes Bryant’s many accolades, such as his 18 All-Star selections, his MVP award in 2008, his two Finals MVP awards in 2009 and 2010, and his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

The base also displays the reference photo for the statue, the box score from the 81-point game, and a quote from Bryant saying,


“Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.”



Vanessa Bryant, who unveiled the statue with her daughters, thanked the fans for their support and said that the statue was a special tribute to her husband and his legacy.


“Kobe has so many people that have supported him all over the world from the very beginning and this moment isn’t just for Kobe, but it’s for all of you that have been rooting for him all of these years,” she said. “And to the fans here in LA, this is a special city Kobe was so proud to represent. It brings me joy to see how much love you have for all of us. We love you back.”


Jeanie Buss, the Lakers governor, said that the statue was a fitting way to honor Bryant, who she called “one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles.” She said that the statue would inspire future generations to emulate Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality,” which was his relentless pursuit of excellence and passion for the game.


“Today I am filled with joy because in the future, I know fans will gather here, in the shade of this statue, beside this building where Kobe gave us so many memories,” she said. “And we will share what he meant to us, and, as we do so, we will motivate a new generation to emulate the Mamba Mentality.”


The statue is the first in a series of physical tributes to honor Bryant’s legacy, according to the Lakers. A section of Figueroa Street near the arena will be renamed Kobe Bryant Boulevard. The statue will be open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2024.


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