EL SEGUNDO, CA. – On 2.8.24, fans can forever pay tribute to beloved Lakers Legend and five-time champion Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers and Vanessa Bryant announced today that they will unveil Kobe Bryant’s bronze statue at Star Plaza outside of Crypto.com Arena on Feb. 8, 2024, prior to the Lakers’ home game that evening.
“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” said Vanessa Bryant in a video to fans posted at 8:24 this morning. “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.”
Following his retirement, Kobe Bryant participated in the initial planning of the anticipated statue to come at Star Plaza. This is the first in a series of physical tributes to honor his legacy. Bryant will be the seventh Laker to be commemorated with a statue, joining Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany.
“Kobe Bryant was one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles,” said Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Lakers Governor. “There is no better place for Kobe to be honored with a statue than here, at the center of our city, where everyone can celebrate him and be inspired by his incredible achievements.”
The Feb. 8 ceremony will be outside the arena and details will be released in the coming months.
“Kobe’s transcendent spirit is always and forever in our hearts – inspiring us every day,” said Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager. “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.”
Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star, retired as the first player in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons with a single franchise. Known for his ‘Mamba Mentality,’ he helped guide the Lakers to five NBA Championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010) and earned Finals MVP honors in 2009 and 2010. Voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008, Bryant earned All-NBA honors 15 times, including 11 First Team selections, and was named to 12 All-Defensive Teams throughout his career, including nine All-Defensive First Team honors.
The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Olympic gold medalist stands as the purple and gold’s all-time leader in regular season games played (1,346), points (33,643), 3-pointers made (1,827), steals (1,944) and free throws made (8,378), while owning franchise playoff records for games played (220), points (5,640), 3-pointers made (292) and free throws made (1,320). A two-time scoring champion, Bryant scored a career-high and franchise-best 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006, at home versus Toronto. The Lakers retired Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys on Dec. 18, 2017.
Tickets to attend this special Lakers game on Feb. 8, as well as the entire 2023-24 season, are available starting Aug. 25.