The Los Angeles Lakers will change into bronze in honor of the most important player in the franchise’s history, along with superstars Magic Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar, on a day similar to this one, February 8, 2024, a date that combines the 8 and the 24. The statue of Kobe Bryant, whose image is constantly seen in Los Angeles and whose memory will live on, will be unveiled in a private event. On Friday, the public can see it.
It has been a little over four years since the tragic death of the NBA legend in a helicopter accident involving his daughter Gigi. The Lakers, who have a celebrity-filled Plaza of Fame adjacent to the Krypto.com Arena, will place Kobe at the top of their list of all-time greats because greatness in America has been imprinted in bronze.
Elgin Baylor, the original Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, the greatest center in history, Jabbar, the elegant giant who created the shot, Magic, the Lakers’ “Babe Ruth” (the point guard who led the “show time” and saved the team from mediocrity), Jerry West, the NBA logo, and journalist Chick Hearn, who called 3,388 straight Lakers games and changed the basketball lexicon by inventing terms like “air ball” and “slam dunk,” are among the sportsmen whose statues can be found there alongside those of boxer Oscar de la Hoya and Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player in NHL history.
Currently, Kobe Bryant becomes the latest celebrity to be imprinted in a sculpture in the promenade on the periphery of the pavilion still shared by the Lakers and Clippers. Kobe’s legacy is present in the spirit of the franchise, which is that of the NBA itself because of the sidereal dimension of its stars.
Few images of the creation have been leaked in an attempt to keep people surprised. Jabbar’s sculpture depicts the number 33 performing a “sky hook,” the unstoppable shot he created with the assistance of a coach named George Hejduk from the now-closed Harlem Power Memorial High School, where he received his basketball training.
If West’s drives are reminiscent of the NBA logo, Shaq’s hoop-bursting throws in a recognizable fashion as the most powerful center ever, and Magic’s, the first to be introduced by the Lakers, appear prepared to deliver a “no look pass,” his disconcerting transition passes that elevated basketball to an art form, then it remains to be seen what Kobe’s sculpture will resemble.
Options are available: A leaping shot? Like when LeBron James did a reverse slam not too long ago? Extending out his shirt is a customary way to commemorate a victory? Additionally, it is unclear what number he will wear because, in a singular instance, Bryant donned the numbers “8” and “24.”
Nobody owns both retired jerseys. Shaq stated last Tuesday on TNT.
“Jerry West will look back regretfully on the ceremony as a time to honor him. He won’t be there, thus it will be a depressing day.” “Everyone knew when Kobe joined the Lakers that his jersey would be retired. We then discussed how many championships he would win, and we knew he would receive a monument.”
“The fact that Kobe has a statue close to the home he constructed is an honor.”Vanessa Bryant
On a particularly significant day for the team, which also hosts the reigning champion Nuggets, Kobe’s family, who played 20 seasons with the Lakers and won five titles in addition to breaking numerous records (like the record for most points scored in a game, 81), will most likely be in attendance at the event, which takes place at 3 p.m. in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are going to honor Kobe by donning the black suit they wore when they won their final ring in 2020—months after Bryant passed away. This will be their first time wearing the outfit since then.