Kobe Bryant will be remembered forever. The late NBA legend was honored on February 8 alongside a number of other L.A. Lakers icons. The Los Angeles Lakers legend’s bronze statue was unveiled in the Star Plaza outside the Crypto.Com Arena in downtown Los Angeles with a star-studded event where his widow, Vanessa Bryant, former coach Phil Jackson, NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, former teammate Derek Fisher, longtime commentator Stu Lantz and Lakers president Jeanie Buss was present. Let’s check out the entire details of this.
The Guests honored Kobe’s legacy with a heartfelt speech
Kobe’s former teammate Fisher shared, “He wasn’t just a champion, he was unmatched, He didn’t just play the game, he defined it… the legacy he left behind is the foundation that players build their dreams…. the echoes of his accomplishments will reverberate in those who wear his sneakers today.”
“In his memory, let us continue to strive for excellence and lead with unwavering dedication,” the athlead concluded.
Meanwhile, Abdul Jabbar and Jackson also reflected on Bryant’s legacy.
Kobe’s wife Vanessa closed out the ceremony saying, “It goes without saying that today is an especially sad day for us… I want to thank you all for being here for showing your love for Kobe and our family.This moment isn’t just for Kobe, it’s for all of you, who have been rooting for him all these years.”
Moreover, she also revealed the statue’s pose was also selected by the NBA star himself long ago. “Kobe picked the pose you’re about to see, so if anyone has any issues with it, tough s**t,” Vanessa said with a laugh. “It is what it is.”
Later on, she shared,”He will have three statues in front of the arena, also known as the house that Kobe built.”
The statues will feature one wearing his number 8 jersey, one featuring his number 24 jersey, and one of Kobe and his daughter, Gianna who also passed away at the age of 13 at the devastating helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January. 26, 2020.
Kobe and Vanessa got married in 2001, and the couple had three other daughters together Gianna, Natalia, 21, Bianka, 7, and Capri, 4.
The Lakers players who attended the event wore special “Black Mamba” jerseys inspired by the late player in which he originally debuted during the 2017-2018 Lakers season.
As per the press release of the Lakers, the “Black Mamba” uniforms “feature a snakeskin-like black print and drop shadows on the jersey numbers, a nod to a detail from the Lakers uniforms from Bryant’s rookie season in 1996-97. The uniforms also include an ‘LA 24’ on the belt and the Nos. 8 and 24 under the flap of each leg of the shorts.”