The Los Angeles Lakers willof the late, great Kobe Bryant outside their stadium next year.
The team announced Thursday that on Feb. 8, 2024, it will honor Bryant with a bronze statue at Star Plaza outside Crypto.com Arena before the Laker's home game that evening.
The unveiling date is a nod to Bryant and his daughter Gianna — Bryant wore number 8 and 24 jerseys as a Laker, and Gianna wore a number 2 jersey during her time playing youth basketball.
Bryant, a five-time champion and career-long Lakers player, participated in the initial planning of the statue following his retirement, the team said.
"As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker," Bryant'ssaid in a video. "Since arriving in this 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 am so honored that, right 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," she said.
Bryant was traveling with his daughter Gianna and seven others to a youth basketball game whenin Calabasas, west of Los Angeles, on Jan. 26, 2020.
Bryant will be the seventh Laker commemorated with a statue, joining Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn, the Lakers said.
His statue was created by sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany.
"Kobe's transcendent spirit is always and forever in our hearts – inspiring us every day," Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, said in a statement. "And now, with the unveiling of this powerful and beautiful statue, he will have a physical presence, too. A place on the hallowed ground Kobe created, where we can all gather and pay honor to a mighty and great man."
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