NBA star and philanthropist Kobe Bryant truly left us too soon. The world continues to mourn his untimely passing—as well as the other men, women and children on board—in the tragic crash that took place on January 20, 2020. The longtime Los Angeles Laker certainly cemented his legacy among basketball royalty, and now the team want to commemorate his impact even more.
Today, Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, announced that a Kobe Bryant statue would be erected outside of Crypto.com Area in the Star Plaza. The basketball legend is the seventh Laker to be honored in this way. The announcement comes fresh off the heels of the late NBA baller's 45th birthday, on August 23.
"As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker," Vanessa shares in a video. "Since arriving in the city and joining the Lakers' organization, he felt at home here, playing in the City of Angels. On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I'm so honored that right in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as "The House that Kobe Built," we're going to unveil a statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever. Hope to see you there."
Sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany will oversee the project, which will officially be revealed to the public on February 8, 2024—to coincide with the numbers on the star's past jerseys.
"Kobe Byrant was one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and was one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles," Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss said. "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."