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Los Angeles Lakers Announce Date for Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling at Arena

On August 8, 2024, a statue honoring Kobe Bryant is set to be erected outside Arena, commemorating the uniform numbers he wore as a revered Los Angeles Lakers icon, according to reports.

As per an inside source cited by Russ Weakland and Alex Raskin, the upcoming Kobe Bryant statue outside Arena in LA will include his daughter Gigi.

The statue, set to be unveiled by the Lakers on August 8, 2024, is designed to pay tribute to Kobe’s jersey numbers 8 and 24. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss had previously disclosed intentions to create the statue following the tragic helicopter crash in January 2020 that claimed Kobe, his daughter Gigi, and others.

The source also mentioned that Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, is involved in the planning, but the selection of an artist for the statue remains pending.

Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, concluded his 20-season career with the Lakers during the 2015-16 season. Tragically, he passed away in a helicopter crash along with eight others, including his daughter Gianna (Gigi), in January 2020 at the age of 41.

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Discussions about creating a statue in honor of Kobe, one of the NBA’s greatest players, emerged shortly after the unfortunate accident. The topic gained renewed attention when LeBron James hinted at retirement after the last season, sparking conversations about a statue for the current Lakers star. This also highlighted the absence of a statue for Kobe Bryant, despite his legendary status.

Matt Barnes, a former NBA player, was among those advocating that Kobe Bryant should be honored with a statue before considering the same for LeBron James. There were beliefs that the Lakers organization was planning to wait until 2024 to integrate the numerical significance into the honor.

In early 2022, a statue of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was erected at the crash site in Calabasas, California. However, this statue was not intended to serve as a permanent memorial.

Los Angeles Lakers Announce Date for Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling at Arena
Statue of Bryant and daughter, Gigi, at the clash site.

During a recent concert in Los Angeles, pop superstar Taylor Swift showed her recognition for the Bryant family by gifting a “22” hat to the Bryants’ daughter Bianka, a gesture inspired by one of her popular songs.

Kobe Bryant’s remarkable NBA career was marked by an average of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game, all achieved while playing for the Lakers. His illustrious career included 18 All-Star selections, two scoring titles, one league MVP award, and two NBA Finals MVP honors.

Finally, Arena features statues of several former Lakers players in Star Plaza, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, and Jerry West. The plaza also boasts statues of icons like Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings, and boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya, among others.

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