We all know that the Lakers will give the late Kobe Bryant a statue outside Staples Center one day. Even long before his untimely passing almost a year ago, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss had said as much.
“Certainly someday there will be a statue as well,” Buss said in 2017 when discussing Bryant’s then-upcoming jersey retirement ceremony.
But whatever form Bryant’s statue (or statues?) in Los Angeles ultimately take, they won’t be the only ones, as President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on Monday, one of which establishes the “National Garden of American Heroes,” which will feature statues of dozens of historical figures, including Bryant.
From the executive order:
The National Garden will feature a roll call of heroes who deserve honor, recognition, and lasting tribute because of the battles they won, the ideas they championed, the diseases they cured, the lives they saved, the heights they achieved, and the hope they passed down to all of us — that united as one American people trusting in God, there is no challenge that cannot be overcome and no dream that is beyond our reach.
In short, each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love. Astounding the world by the sheer power of their example, each one of them has contributed indispensably to America’s noble history, the best chapters of which are still to come.
The location for the park, size of the statues and what image of Bryant it will be based on is still to be determined, as none of that is established by the executive order.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has yet to publicly comment on the statue, but given that she is very active in protecting and shaping Kobe’s legacy both in court and on her very active Instagram account, expect her to say something about it soon. Is this the statue she hinted was coming when revealing her 2021 to-do list? Or was that a different one?
We will update this story when and if she says something about it.