Lakers finalizing plans for Kobe Bryant statue, with team eyeing 8/8/24 unveiling in a nod to his jersey numbers – and tribute WILL incorporate daughter Gigi three years after pair died with seven others in helicopter crash
The promised Kobe Bryant statue outside LA’s Crypto.com Arena will incorporate his daughter Gigi and – in a nod to his jersey numbers, 8 and 24 – will be unveiled by the Lakers on August 8, 2024, an inside source has told DailyMail.com. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss previously 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 of 2020.
The source tells DailyMail.com that Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, is involved with the plans, but cautioned that an artist for the piece has not yet been chosen. Team spokespeople did not immediately respond to Mail Sport’s request for confirmation.
Lakers fans have grown impatient for a memorial in Bryant’s honor, although many have speculated that the team would wait until 2024 to unveil the statue. ‘Why do we still not have a Kobe statue outside Staples Center?’ popular Lakers-centric Twitter user, @LakeShowYo, asked on August 5. The question was met with several similar responses: ‘They’re waiting til 2024.’
There already was one Kobe/Gigi statue placed at the site of the crash in Calabasas, California, but there were no plans to keep the piece there permanently. The statue, a 150-pound bronze sculpture, was created by Southern California artist Dan Medina and depicted Bryant in his Lakers uniform with his arm around Gigi, herself a budding basketball player at the time of the crash. The base has the inscription ‘heroes come and go but legends are forever,’ along with the names of the other crash victims — Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Fans took photos of the statue along with leaving flowers and other memorials at the crash site. The statue is a smaller version of a life-size sculpture he is working on that he hopes can find a location in downtown Los Angeles. Medina also said he hopes the smaller version could eventually end up at the crash site. ‘I think we did it the right way. I didn’t break any laws. There was no trash left behind,’ he told The Associated Press in 2022. ‘I hope by showing that something we did spontaneous and the right way can lead to something further.’ Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/nba/article-12389035/Lakers-Kobe-Bryant-statue-8-8-24-unveiling-Gigi-helicopter-crash.html?ito=msngallery
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