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Lakers unveil 19-foot Kobe Bryant statue

Jimmy Myers
Lakers unveil 19-foot Kobe Bryant statue
The Lakers unveiled the first of three statues honoring Kobe Bryant. PHOTO: Courtesy of NBA

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The Los Angeles Lakers last week unveiled the first of three statues to honor the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bean Bryant.

The 19-foot bronze statue shows Bryant in his Number 8 Lakers jersey, the number he wore during his career-high 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. Below Kobe’s name is his title: “Black Mamba.”

Rendered numerically, the 2/8/24 date of the statue’s dedication holds special significance.

The number 2 was worn on the jersey of Kobe’s daughter Gigi, who perished along with her father and seven others in a horrific helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. The second statue in the series will feature Kobe and Gigi together.

The numbers 8 and 24 were both worn by Bryant during his Hall of Fame-playing career with the Lakers. The high-scoring forward led the franchise to five NBA Championships.

Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the team he played for.

All three statues will stand in the outside courtyard of the Arena, home of the Lakers, in downtown Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant, Lakers, Sports