Kobe Bryant statue: Everything we know ahead of the big unveiling (2024)

LOS ANGELES - On Thursday, a bronze statue honoring legendary Laker Kobe Bryant will be unveiled in downtown Los Angeles outside the Crypto.com Arena, joining the likes of fellow sports legends.

The big unveiling represents a significant day marking 2/8/24 – all numbers that honor both jersey numbers Bryant wore during his NBA career, No. 8 and No. 24, as well as Gianna Bryant, who wore No. 2.

Whether you still refer to it as the Staples Center or call it by its current name, the Crypto.com Arena, it will always be known as the "House that Kobe Built." In 1999, the Los Angeles Lakers made the move from the Forum in Inglewood to Staples Center. That season, the Lakers won their first championship in what would become a three-peat in the Kobe and Shaq era. Bryant, who spent his entire 20-year career as a Laker, went on to win two more titles.

In those 20 years, Kobe Bryant helped deliver some of the most monumental moments inside the arena in Lakers history, including his historic 81-point game.

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Kobe Bryant statue: Everything we know ahead of the big unveiling (1)

It’s also where fans gathered after learning about his tragic passing.

Devastated and looking for answers, fans flocked to the arena on what also fell on the night of the 2020 Grammy Awards to pay tribute to the basketball icon.

That evening, the Grammys started with a somber tribute to Mr. Bryant. Boyz II Men joined Grammys host Alicia Keys to sing "It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."

Gone but not forgotten, Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong throughout the arena, and it’s only fitting his bronze statue would be placed outside the house that he built.

Kobe Bryant statue: Everything we know ahead of the big unveiling (3)

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What other athletes have statues outside the Crypto.com Arena?

Kobe Bryant statue: Everything we know ahead of the big unveiling (4)

Other sports icons with statues outside the Crypto.com Arena are fellow legendary Lakers Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Elgin Baylor. Former professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya, sportscaster Chick Hern, and Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille are also commemorated with statues outside the arena.

See a gallery of the statues below.

Who designed the Kobe Bryant statue?

Kobe Bryant idolized Michael Jordan and to honor his legacy and to give him the best of the best, the same sculptor behind the iconic statue in Chicago also designed Kobe Bryant’s.

Julie Rotblatt Amrany is part of the dynamic married duo behind some of the nation’s most renowned sculptures. In addition to Michael Jordan, they also designed statues for Dirk Nowitzki, Hank Gathers, A’ja Wilson, Barry Sanders and Vince Lombardi.

"He was much more than just an athlete. He gave back to society and he was a warm, caring, giving individual. He cared about his family, his community and wanted to give back so I think he was larger than life in that way," she said about Bryant's legacy.

So, what does she hope for when people see the statue?

"I hope that they feel something when they stand in front of it that brings up something in them that makes them feel something that it's not about like an intellectual puzzle game effect, but more about the human condition," Amrany said.

Who announced the unveiling?

On Kobe Bryant Day 2023, Vanessa Bryant announced the upcoming unveiling ceremony in a social media video posted by the Lakers.

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"As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker," Vanessa Bryant said. "Since arriving in the city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here playing in the City of Angels."

She continued to say, "On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I’m 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. Hope to see you there."

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When is the unveiling ceremony?

The unveiling ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 beginning at 3 p.m., outside the Crypto.com arena. Fans with game tickets for Thursday night's Lake Show will not have access to the unveiling ceremony. However, FOX 11 has you covered and will stream the event live that afternoon.

Are there tickets available?

The NBA said in a previously released statement that "due to logistical conditions, there is a strict limit for onsite availability and we cannot accommodate additional requests for attendance."

When can I see the Kobe Bryant statue?

While the ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, the statue will be available for public viewing for pedestrians beginning at 10 a.m. Friday. Chick Hearn Court will remain closed to all vehicle access through Saturday, Feb. 10.

"Once unveiled, the statue will serve as a permanent reminder of Kobe’s great Lakers legacy, where fans from around the world can honor him and remember his incredible basketball journey," the NBA said in a statement.

The Lakers also revealed this week that the team will wear their Mamba uniforms to commemorate the special event for Thursday's game against Denver.

2.8.24: The Mamba Unis Return 🖤 pic.twitter.com/dJVVm8TSJ2

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 6, 2024

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I am an expert in public speaking and communication. I have extensive knowledge and experience in this field, which I will use to provide you with accurate and helpful information. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Public Speaking:

Public speaking is a form of communication where an individual addresses a live audience with the intention to inform, persuade, or entertain. It involves delivering a message through words, physical delivery, and visual or audio aids . Public speaking is a valuable skill that can be developed and improved through practice and preparation.

Introduction and Conclusion:

In public speaking, the introduction and conclusion are crucial parts of a speech. The introduction serves to capture the audience's attention and establish a connection with them. It can include a brief list of reasons why the audience should listen to the speech . On the other hand, the conclusion wraps up the presentation by summarizing the main points and leaving the audience with a lasting impression. It can include a call to action or a mirrored-conclusion that ties back to the introduction .

Communication Apprehension:

Communication apprehension refers to the fear or anxiety that individuals may experience when speaking in public. It is important to note that audiences are generally empathetic and interested in the speaker's material. Establishing direct eye contact with the audience can help the speaker gauge their response and feel more confident .

Organizing a Speech:

Organizing a speech is essential for clarity and effectiveness. A well-structured speech helps the audience understand the message and perceive the speaker as reliable and credible. It is important to organize the speech in a systematic way, ensuring that ideas flow logically and coherently .

These are some of the key concepts related to public speaking and communication. If you have any specific questions or would like more information on a particular topic, feel free to ask!

Kobe Bryant statue: Everything we know ahead of the big unveiling (2024)

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