“Vanessa Bryant’s Touching Tribute: Unveiling Kobe Bryant Statue and Honoring His Legacy”

Vanessa Bryant Gives Emotional Speech at Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling: ‘This Moment Isn’t Just for Kobe, But It’s for All of You’

The Lakers also wore special “Black Mamba” jerseys to honor their late teammate on Thursday

Vanessa Bryant Gives Emotional Speech at Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling/


Vanessa Bryant became emotional at the unveiling of the statue honoring her late husband Kobe Bryant.

A bronze statue honoring the NBA player, who died in 2020 at the age of 41, was revealed on Thursday during a ceremony ahead of the Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets.

Kobe died alongside their daughter Gianna Bryant, 13, and nine other people in a Calabasas, California helicopter crash in January 2020.

His statue now stands in Star Plaza outside of the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. where the Lakers play their home games. His likeness stands alongside six other former Lakers: Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn.

After being welcomed with a standing ovation, Vanessa shared how this unveiling celebrated her late husband and the fans who supported him throughout his career.

“It goes without saying that today is an especially sad day for us since Kobe and Gigi aren’t here for what is supposed to be an incredibly joyous moment and Kobe’s legacy,” began Vanessa. “Kobe has so many people that have supported him all over the world from the very beginning. And this moment isn’t just for Kobe, but it’s for all of you that have been rooting for him all of these years.”

“And to the fans here in LA, this is a special city Kobe was so proud to represent. You welcomed him with open arms and have been so important to him, our family and his legacy.”

Vanessa Bryant Gives Emotional Speech at Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling/

Vanessa Bryant.KTLA

She explained that there will be three statues in front of Crypto.com Arena — “also known as the house that Kobe built.” One statue will include him “wearing the number eight, one with [their] beautiful daughter Gianna, and one wearing the number 24.”

“And for the record, Kobe picked the pose you’re about to see. So if anyone has any issues with it, tough s—. It is what it is,” she added.

“As I see today’s current generation of star players following Kobe’s footsteps with huge scoring games. I know he would take pride in knowing that he is still pouring inspiration into the game that was so special to him,” continued Vanessa.

Vanessa concluded the speech by quoting Kobe, sharing with the crowd, “Leave the game better than you found it and when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend. And that he did.”

A curtain then dropped to reveal the gleaming statue as confetti rained from the ceiling and applause filled the room.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The sculpture was designed by Omri Amrany and Julie Roblatt-Amrany, an  Illinois-based team who has designed the sculpture for every Lakers statue currently standing in Star Plaza, per NBC 4. Vanessa and the Lakers organization also reportedly played a significant role in designing the statue.

To honor both Kobe and Gianna during the game, the Lakers wore special “Black Mamba” uniforms that were designed by Kobe. The uniforms feature black print that has a snake skin theme and drop shadows in the jersey numbers. Per USA Today, the uniform also has “LA 24” written on the belt and Kobe’s retired numbers, 8 and 24 under the leg flap on each leg of the shorts.

 Vanessa Bryant Remembers Husband Kobe and Daughter Gianna on 4th Anniversary of Deaths

The statue was unveiled on Thursday in honor of Kobe’s two numbers during his 20-year career with the Lakers — 8 and 24. The date also honors Gianna, who played in the number 2 jersey during her basketball career.

Vanessa Bryant Gives Emotional Speech at Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling/

Kobe Bryant Statue.KTLA

“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,” Vanessa said in her original statement announcing the statue, which was released at 8:24 p.m. on August 24, 2023, to honor her late husband and daughter.

Related Posts

BRON THE MOVE Bronny James NBA draft status update as LeBron’s son ‘to leave USC for NCAA transfer portal’ after dad’s future revealed

Bronny James appeared in 25 games last season for USC BRONNY James is reportedly taking his talents to another school after one season at the University of…

CAR FREAK Inside Giannis Antetokounmpo’s $600k car collection including Rolls Royce Cullinan and BMW after starring in commercial

GIANNIS Antetokounmpo has a stellar car collection which costs an ample amount of money, $600,000 to be exact. The Milwaukee Bucks superstar, 29, has even starred in a car…

GloRilla Sidesteps Damian Lillard Question On ‘Club Shay Shay’… Can’t Say, Shannon!!!

Shannon Sharpe asked GloRilla the question everyone wants to know the answer to — did her flirtatious shot at NBA superstar Damian Lillard actually work — but the rapper dodged the query…

Bucks’ Damian Lillard to miss third straight game vs. Grizzlies with gr.o.in injury

Once again, the Bucks will be without their star point guard as they look to try and lock up the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference. Damian Lillard was…

Taylor Swift’s impact on U.S. sports extends to flag football ahead of its Olympic debut

Through her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, global pop star musician Taylor Swift brought a new batch of fans to the NFL scene. Her appearance at several Chiefs…

Taylor Swift Reportedly Had The Opportunity To Be ‘Auntie’ to Travis Kelce’s Nieces at a Major Family Event

Taylor Swift has been in auntie mode for so long, by being so supportive and cool with Patrick & Brittany Mahomes’ kids Sterling and Bronze, Sophie Turner’s kids, and with…