Lakers to officially unveil Kobe Bryant statue on February 8, 2024


The Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to unveil a bronze statue of NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant at Star Plaza outside Arena in L.A. on August 8, 2024, and now the official date is February 8, 2024, before the scheduled Nuggets-Lakers game at 10 p.m. ET.

The original 8/8/24 date was chosen to honor his Lakers jersey Nos. 8 and 24. However, it seems NBA insiders were misled. The Lakers plan to unveil the statue of KB24 during the 2023-24 regular season, not the offseason. Both of Mamba’s jersey numbers were retired by the Lakers on December 18, 2017.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss revealed plans to erect a statue for Bryant after he, his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, six friends, and a pilot died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Los Angeles Lakers hold seventh-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors.

“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” said Vanessa Bryant in an Instagram video. “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.”

Los Angeles Lakers to officially unveil Kobe Bryant statue on Thursday, February 8, 2024, before the Denver Nuggets matchup at Arena

Furthermore, Bryant will become the sixth Lakers player and seventh person associated with the organization commemorated with a statue. The six Lakers statues outside the Arena belong to Magic Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal, and broadcaster Chick Hearn.

“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,” Buss said. “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.”

Additionally, Bryant was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Lower Merion High School. The 18-year-old phenom was then traded to the Lakers. As a matter of fact, Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play 20 seasons.

The Pennsylvania native made 1,146 starts in 1,346 career games in his 20-year career with L.A. Also, the 18-time All-Star averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals, and 36.1 minutes per game. Not to mention, the legend shot 44.7% from the floor and 32.9% beyond the arc.

Tickets to watch Nuggets-Lakers game, Kobe Bryant statue ceremony on Feb. 8 will be available to purchase starting Friday, Aug. 25

Moreover, Bryant won five NBA championships (2000-02, 2009, 2010), four MVPs, and two Finals MVPs with the Lakers. The two-time scoring champ received 15 All-NBA selections and won four All-Star Game MVP awards as well. In 2021, he was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

“Kobe’s transcendent spirit is always and forever in our hearts — inspiring us every day,” said Lakers G.M. Rob Pelinka. “And now, with the unveiling this powerful and beautiful statue, he will have a physical presence too. A place on the hallowed ground Kobe created, where we can gather and pay honor to a mighty and great man.”

Equally important, tickets will be available for the Nuggets-Lakers, Feb. 8 matchup starting Friday, Aug. 25.

Meanwhile, Lakers guard Austin Reaves was asked earlier this month by Sports Illustrated whether future NBA Hall of Famer LeBron James deserves a statue outside Arena.

“He came to L.A. at a time where wasn’t having much success and 2-3 years put a banner in the rafters, so why not?” Reaves said. “In my opinion, he’s the greatest player to ever play the game. You can argue it for sure because there’s been some really good players.”

A statue for LeBron James outside the Lakers arena is quite debatable.

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