Vanessa Bryant Unveils Kobe Bryant Statue in Emotional Ceremony Outside Lakers Arena
In a poignant ceremony outside the Lakers arena, Vanessa Bryant delivered an emotional speech Thursday night during the unveiling of Kobe Bryant’s statue. The wife of the late Los Angeles Lakers star was met with a standing ovation as she took the stage, dedicating the day not only to Kobe but also to his devoted fans who supported him throughout his illustrious career.
Addressing the crowd, Bryant expressed gratitude to the City of Angels for embracing Kobe and his family with open arms. “This is a special city Kobe was so proud to represent,” she said, acknowledging the profound impact of Los Angeles on their lives and Kobe’s enduring legacy.
Vanessa played a hands-on role in designing the statue, collaborating with sculptors to incorporate a meaningful detail: Kobe’s arm adorned with tattoos of all their daughters’ names. She emphasized Kobe’s involvement in selecting the pose for the statue, unapologetically asserting, “It is what it is.”
Reflecting on Kobe’s influence on the current generation of NBA stars, Vanessa remarked on his enduring legacy of inspiration and excellence in the game he loved. “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,” she said.
Quoting Kobe’s philosophy to “leave the game better than you found it” and “leave a legend,” Vanessa concluded her speech with a poignant tribute to her late husband’s enduring impact on basketball and beyond.
As the curtain dropped to reveal the towering 19-foot bronze statue, adorned with confetti falling from the ceiling, the crowd erupted in applause, honoring Kobe’s legacy and the indelible mark he left on the Lakers franchise and the sport of basketball.
The unveiling marks the first of three statues planned to honor Kobe Bryant, forming part of “The House that Kobe Built” outside the Crypto.com Arena. One statue will depict Kobe in his iconic No. 24 jersey, while another will honor his daughter, Gianna.
The ceremony served as a poignant reminder of Kobe Bryant’s enduring legacy and the profound impact he had on the basketball world and beyond. Despite his tragic passing in 2020, Kobe’s spirit lives on through his remarkable achievements and the memories he created both on and off the court.