Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Lakers' Statue Of Kobe Bryant Will Also Honor Daughter Gianna

Home / Sports / Lakers' Statue Of Kobe Bryant Will Also Honor Daughter Gianna

By Afouda Bamidele on February 9, 2024 at 6:45 AM EST

The Los Angeles Lakers are ensuring Kobe Bryant remains iconic after his death, as the legendary basketball player is getting not one, but three, statues.

The NBA team previously announced they would honor the late shooting guard with a bronze statue outside the Crypto.com Arena. Many trooped in to watch the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, only to be pleasantly surprised by news of two more statues on the way.

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Lakers To Immortalize Kobe & Gianna Bryant With ‘2-8-24’ Statues

News of Kobe's three statues broke during the private unveiling ceremony outside the Crypto.com Arena. As stated, several sports stars attended the monumental event, including Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and former head coach Phil Jackson.

Pau Gasol, Norm Nixon, Michael Cooper, and Robert Horry also attended. Among these guests, Abdul-Jabbar, Jackson, the Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss, and former Laker Derek Fisher spoke at the ceremony, sharing sweet words about Kobe's legacy. 

However, the highlight of the evening was Kobe's widow, Vanessa Bryant, who gave a heartfelt speech about her late husband and the plan to immortalize his legacy with three statues. She said:

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"As I see today's current generation of star players follow in Kobe's footsteps with huge scoring games, I know he would take pride in knowing that he is still pouring inspiration into the game that was so special to him."

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Vanessa continued, saying, "I leave you with one of my husband's amazing quotes: 'Leave the game better than you found it, and when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.' And that he did."

On cue, the first Kobe statue was revealed from behind a gold curtain with confetti flying. The bronze figure showcased the late 41-year-old in a white No. 8 Lakers uniform. His right index finger was pointed into the air, referencing his celebratory moment after achieving an 81-point performance in a 2006 match against the Toronto Raptors.

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The statue's base featured a triangle in honor of the triangle offense that Kobe perfected under Jackson and assistant coach Tex Winter. As for the other two statues, the next homage will feature the 41-year-old in his No. 24 jersey, and the third will be a tribute to the late Bryants.

It was initially believed that Gianna wouldn't be receiving a statue; however, the late aspiring basketball player will be honored alongside her dad in the third sculpture. While fans didn't get to participate in the private unveiling ceremony, Reuters noted they can visit Kobe's first statue starting Friday morning.

Lakers Honored Kobe Bryant By Wearing 'Black Mamba' Uniforms

In case fans missed it, Kobe's unveiling ceremony was scheduled on a significant date, "2-8-24." This symbolic number paid tribute to the No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys the late shooting guard wore during his spectacular career, while No. 2 was the jersey number of his deceased daughter Gianna.

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Kobe Bryant Memorial in Los Angeles

Apart from honoring the father and daughter on this special date, the Lakers donned Kobe-inspired "Black Mamba" uniforms for their highly-anticipated match against the Denver Nuggets. Kobe helped design these jerseys to fit his "Black Mamba" nickname.

The uniforms feature snakeskin-themed black print and drop shadows on the jersey numbers. The design also has "LA 24" on the belt and Kobe's Nos. 8 and 24 under the flap of each leg of the shorts.

Creating this unique design isn't the only amazing thing Kobe achieved in his over-a-decade career with the Lakers. His successes include five NBA championships, being a two-time Finals MVP, and an 18-time All-Star. Thanks to his impressive record, he retired in 2016 as one of the best basketball players in NBA history.

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Even after his death, Kobe continued to succeed and was posthumously voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. He was also named in the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

His statue was another posthumous achievement. Kobe will be the seventh Lakers legend to be commemorated with the honor after icons like Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and Chick Hearn.

Additionally, the NBA icon's wealth continues to grow in his absence. In July 2023, 2K Games unveiled Kobe as the cover of the 25th-anniversary edition of their NBA video game. This meant they had to pay the Kobe Bryant estate to use his image.

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