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Kobe Bryant statue, explained: What to know about Lakers unveiling of Crypto.com Arena monument

“Mamba Forever” is taking on an even deeper meaning at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena.

Kobe Bryant did it all in the building formerly known as the Staples Center. Look to the rafters for a physical reminder of Bryant’s indelible impact on the franchise, as the five championship banners he helped raise aren’t far from the Nos. 8 and 24 jerseys that were retired in his honor.

Now, Bryant’s legacy is set to be immortalized with a monument outside the arena.

Here is everything you need to know about the Lakers’ latest tribute to one of the greatest players to ever don the purple and gold.

MORE: Why the NBA named its All-Star MVP award after Kobe Bryant

What is the Kobe Bryant statue?

Ahead of the 2023-24 season, Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, helped the Lakers announce that a statue of the late Bryant would be unveiled ahead of the Lakers game on Feb. 8, 2024.

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.

Specific details — like Bryant’s pose in the statue — have yet to be disclosed. Several Lakers players, including LeBron James, have chimed in on the number of signature poses the sculptors could choose from.

Why is the Kobe Bryant statue being unveiled on Feb. 8?

The date (02/08/24) is significant in that it represents Bryant’s numbers with the Lakers and the number of his late daughter, Gigi, who played basketball wearing No. 2.

How many Lakers have statues at Crypto.com Arena?

Bryant’s statue will be part of the Lakers landscape at Crypto.com Arena’s Star Plaza. Bryant is the seventh Laker legend to be honored with a statue at Star Plaza.

Here is the list of Lakers legends that Bryant is set to join:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Chick Hearn
  • Magic Johnson
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Jerry West

Bryant earns the honor nearly 20 years after Johnson became the first Laker to receive a statue on Feb. 11, 2004, days before the arena hosted the NBA All-Star Game.

What artist did the Kobe Bryant statue?

The Kobe Bryant statue at Crypto.com Arena was created by sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany.

Rotblatt Amrany and her husband, Omri Amrany, have done many notable sculptures of athletes, including the monument of Michael Jordan that sits outside of Chicago’s United Center.

More recently, Rotblatt Amrany partnered with the University of South Carolina to create a bronze statue of A’ja Wilson, which was unveiled in 2021.

How to watch Kobe Bryant statue unveiling

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 8
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET | 3 p.m. PT

In Los Angeles, the unveiling of the Kobe Bryant statue will air live on Spectrum SportsNet and stream on Spectrum SportsNet+. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. local time).

After the event, the full ceremony can be viewed at Lakers.com.

Later that night, the Lakers will host the Nuggets in a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference Finals. The game is set to tip at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local time) on TNT. Los Angeles will bring back its “Mamba” uniforms for the occasion. 

The black uniforms, which were designed by Bryant, were first worn during the 2017-18 season. The Lakers brought the uniforms back following Bryant’s tragic passing in 2020 and will bring them back for the occasion.

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