Kobe Bryant was notorious for exceeding expectations, so it should not have come as a surprise that on the day that the statue of the late player was erected outside of the Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena, it was revealed that three sculptures will ultimately be placed on the property in downtown Los Angeles.
On Thursday, the most prominent figures in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers were present at a private ceremony held outside of Crypto.com Arena. These individuals included Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Phil Jackson, who had previously served as the head coach of the Lakers.
At the ceremony, Abdul-Jabbar and Jackson were among the speakers. Other attendees included Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner of the Lakers, Derek Fisher, a former Laker, and Vanessa Bryant, Bryant’s widow.
“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,” Vanessa Bryant told reporters.
Vanessa Bryant was the one who disseminated the information that there will be three monuments.
Vanessa Bryant stated, “I leave you with one of my husband’s amazing quotes,” and she was completely right. “When it is time for you to leave, leave a legend behind, and leave the game in a better state than you found it,” the coach said. And that is exactly what he did.”
Following this, the first Bryant statue was unveiled from behind a golden curtain, and confetti was sent flying in all directions. A picture of Kobe Bryant wearing a white Lakers uniform with the number 8 is shown.
It is a depiction of the moment following his 81-point outburst against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, and his right index finger is pointed upwards.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) February 9, 2024
Immediately following his graduation from high school, Bryant signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. He remained with the team throughout his whole career, during which he won five NBA championships before calling it quits after the 2015–2016 season.
Bryant has a number of team records, including points and games played, amid the progression of a franchise that has been packed with excellent players throughout its existence.
In the history of the National Basketball Association, his 33,643 points rank fourth. Only three players who have played for the Lakers, namely LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Karl Malone, have scored more points than him.
“I’ve missed Kobe so much, like everyone else does,” said Lakers legend James Worthy, who is now an analyst on Lakers broadcasts. “I’ve missed Kobe so much.”
Whenever he made contact with a person, he turned that interaction into a memorable occasion in their life. In spite of this, the unveiling of this monument is very remarkable since it appears to come to life. When you look at it, you can see Kobe, you can feel Kobe, and you can tell that he is speaking to you.
In addition, monuments representing the Lakers have been erected near the arena in the downtown area of Los Angeles. These statues include Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, and West, as well as the commentator Chick Hearn.