At TCL Chinese Theatre
By City News Service
Kobe Bryant's handprints and footprints were unveiled in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre Wednesday, 12 years after he became the first athlete to have his hands and feet imprinted in cement.
Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss and Byron Scott, who coached the Lakers for the final two seasons of Bryant's 20-season NBA career, spoke at the Wednesday ceremony.
The imprints have been kept in storage since Bryant laid his hands and feet in a block of wet cement on Feb. 19, 2011, a spokesman for the theater told City News Service. The ceremony was one day before Bryant scored a game-high 37 points and was selected as the MVP for the fourth and final time in the West's 148-143 victory in the NBA All-Star Game at the then-Staples Center.
Due to the size of the theater’s courtyard, not all handprints made of hundreds of celebrities can be displayed all the time. They’re often switched out for new ones, but the Mamba’s will now be there forever.
Bryant died in 2020 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.
In 2011, Bryant told CBS2 having his handprints and footprints along with many of the legends of the movie industry is “right at the top'' of his many accomplishments, including helping the Lakers to five NBA championships.
Bryant was especially struck by the everlasting nature of having his handprints and footprints in the forecourt. “You come back in 100 years, it's going to be there,'' Bryant told CBS2. “It's not going anywhere. It's here forever. You are part of Los Angeles forever.''