Los Angeles Lakers president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss joined John Ireland on ESPN Los Angeles Radio and had a sweeping discuss about the state of the franchise. She also confirmed something we all knew was coming: Kobe Bryant’s getting a statue in Los Angeles soon.
Jeanie gave a nod to Bryant having a statue outside of the arena he helped build while discussing retiring both of his jerseys in December.
“My feeling is that even if we just retired one number, no one's ever gonna wear the other, so you may as well retire... no one's ever gonna wear eight or 24 for the Lakers ever again. It just worked out that that was the right date to do it, and I think we'll have a great celebration, and certainly someday there will be a statue as well,” Buss told Ireland.
Jeanie didn’t put out a specific timetable on the statue, but she alluded to the team waiting until a player is heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame in the past. A player must be retired for a minimum of five years before becoming eligible, so that puts the statue on a three-year trajectory.
She also gave Kobe a huge nod, crediting him for being the reason the 2018 NBA All-Star Game is heading to Los Angeles.
“It's an honor to honor Kobe and we wanted to work around his schedule but it was also really important to me that his numbers are on the wall when we host the 2018 All-Star game at STAPLES Center, and I wanted to make sure that he was represented because he is the reason that building is hosting the all-star game in 2018,” Buss said.
It’s set to be a huge year for basketball in Los Angeles, and hopefully a rejuvenated Lakers core adds to the excitement brewing in STAPLES Center heading into a fresh season.
*All quotes transcribed via ESPN.com