The Los Angeles Lakers’ Crypto.com Arena held a special ceremony to unveil a bronze statue of the beloved NBA star Kobe Bryant outside the sports complex. The ceremony was attended by Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, and their daughters Capri Kobe, Bianka Bella, and Natalia Bryant.
The family was in awe of the dedication to the late basketball player, who was not only a husband and father but also an iconic figure in the world of sports. The unveiling was a star-studded event that drew many celebrities and fans alike.
Kobe’s former teammates, ex-Lakers players, and friends of the Bryant’s attended the event, including Lamar Odom, Magic Johnson, Ciara and Russell Wilson, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Derek Fisher, and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
At the ceremony, Vanessa, who tied the knot with Kobe in 2001, delivered a heart-wrenching speech that left everyone emotional. She also revealed her plans to erect two more statues of her beloved husband, one of which would also feature their late daughter Gianna, who tragically passed away in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe on January 26, 2020. It was a touching moment that spoke volumes about Vanessa’s love and devotion to her family.
“Kobe has so many people that have supported him all over the world from the very beginning, and this moment isn’t just for Kobe, but it’s for all of you that have been rooting for him all of these years,” she said. “And for the record, Kobe picked the pose you’re about to see, so if anyone has any issues with it, tough s---,” she joked, referring to the pose Kobe is striking in the statue.
After the event, Vanessa took to social media to share a family photo before the statue, captioning it with a quote from Kobe. “‘LEAVE THE GAME BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. AND WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE, LEAVE A LEGEND.’ ~ @kobebryant💜💛👑🐍,” she wrote.
The jersey numbers that are particularly meaningful to the city of Los Angeles are 8 and 24, which Kobe Bryant famously wore during his prolific career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His daughter Gianna also wore the number 2 when she played basketball.
It is said that the date chosen for unveiling the statue honoring Kobe’s legacy, which features all three of these numbers, is 2/8/24 - a poignant tribute to the late basketball legend and his beloved daughter. “Forever immortalized, forever in our hearts 💜💛, the Lakers commented on Vanessa’s post.