Kobe Bryant Immortalized With 19-Foot Bronze Statue Unveiled Outside Lakers' Arena

Photo: Instagram/Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers paid a heartfelt tribute to the departed basketball icon Kobe Bryant by revealing an impressive 4,000-pound bronze statue on Thursday.

The 19-foot monument captures Bryant in his iconic white No. 8 jersey, with his right index finger raised, commemorating his historic 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, revealed during the dedication ceremony that this is the first of three statues planned to honor the five-time NBA champion and Lakers' all-time leading scorer.

Photo: Instagram/Kobe Bryant

The next statues will depict Bryant in his No. 24 jersey from the latter part of his career and a poignant representation with his daughter, Gianna, who tragically lost her life alongside him in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Speaking at the ceremony, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar emphasized the symbolic nature of the statue, stating, "This statue may look like Kobe, but really it's what excellence looks like. 

What discipline looks like. What commitment looks like." The event drew Lakers greats, including owner Jeanie Buss, former teammate Derek Fisher, and legendary coach Phil Jackson, creating a meaningful moment for the Lakers community.

Reflecting on the enduring impact of Kobe Bryant, Jeanie Buss expressed joy for the future gatherings around the statue, saying, "Today, I'm filled with joy because in the future, I know fans will gather here in the shade of this statue beside this building where Kobe gave us so many memories."

Despite Bryant's 2016 retirement, his legacy lives on in Los Angeles, evident in numerous public murals across the city that continue to honor his remarkable career and the enduring spirit of the "Mamba Mentality." (SOURCE: NBA)

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