On Thursday (Aug. 24), Vanessa Bryant announced that the Los Angeles Lakers are planning to unveil a statue of Kobe Bryant on Feb. 8, 2024. The announcement was made via video on the Lakers’ social media accounts.
“I am so honored that, right here in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as ‘The House that Kobe Built,’ we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever,” Vanessa announced.
Aug. 24 is celebrated by many fans as Mamba Day, which is a reference to the number eight and 24 jerseys Kobe wore throughout his career with the Lakers. The date of the statue ceremony also honors their late daughter, Gianna Bryant, who wore a number two jersey. The ceremony is scheduled to take place outside the Crypto.com Arena. According to the team, this is the first of many tributes to Kobe’s legacy.
Back in January 2020, Kobe and Gianna were tragically killed along with seven others when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. Kobe will be the seventh member of the Lakers team to have a statue outside the arena. He will be joining superstars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Lakers’ general manager and vice president of basketball operations, Rob Pelinka, stated Kobe will have a physical presence in the place he created, allowing everyone to honor the late NBA superstar.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss also issued a statement on the upcoming ceremony, stating Kobe was one of the most iconic individuals in Los Angeles history. “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,” added Buss, per ESPN.
On the same day as the ceremony, the Lakers will play against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.