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Lakers legend Kobe Bryant memorialized at


A statue in the late star’s honor

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has been memorialized at Arena with the unveiling of a statue on Feb. 8 of the late superstar.

The statue “will serve as a permanent reminder of Kobe’s great Lakers legacy, where fans from around the world can honor him and remember his incredible basketball journey,” according to the team.

Plans were the statue were announced last year on “Mamba Day,” which is celebrated every Aug. 24, or 8/24, in a nod to the two uniform numbers he wore during his career.

“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” his widow, Vanessa Bryant, said in a social media video announcing the statue.

“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.”

Other Lakers greats commemorated with a statue outside the arena are Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and announcer Chick Hearn.

Bryant, known as “Black Mamba” during his 20-year Hall of Fame NBA career, died Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas that also took the lives of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

Both of Kobe Bryant’s uniform numbers were retired by the Lakers in 2017, the year after he hung up his sneakers–making him the first NBA player to have two numbers retired by the same team. He wore No. 8 from 1996 to 2006, then switched to No. 24 for the rest of his career.

Bryant played his entire career with the Lakers and became the team’s all-time leader in games (1,346), minutes played (48,637), field goals (11,719) and 3-point goals (1,827), among numerous team records.