After lots of speculation, the Lakers finally announced on Thursday that Kobe Bryant would receive his statue. On February 8, 2024 — or 2-8-24 in honor of Kobe and Gigi — the Lakers will unveil a bronze statue for Bryant.
Vanessa Bryant made the announcement on the Lakers social media.
Kobe’s legacy immortalized.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 24, 2023
For those without Twitter/X/whatever it’s called now, here’s the transcript of Vanessa’s announcement:
“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.”
According to the team’s press release, Bryant was involved in the initial planning of his statue that will be placed in Star Plaza. He will become the seventh former Laker to be honored 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 Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany, who has been involved in creating the past Lakers statues.
A ceremony will be held on Feb. 8 outside of the arena. The team says more details will be released closer to the date. Later that evening, the team will play the Nuggets on TNT.
Jeanie Buss had the following quote as part of the release as well.
“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. 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.”
Nothing in the release indicates whether Gigi will be part of the statue, which was previously reported. Considering the date, which honors Kobe’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys and Gigi’s No. 2 jersey, it feels like a safe assumption.
What is certain is it’ll be a momentous and emotional day that Lakers fans will certainly eagerly await.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.