Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiled: A Tribute to Basketball Greatness

Owen Mitchell

By Owen Mitchell

Published February 9, 2024

At the recent unveiling of the statue commemorating the late Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa Bryant expressed that the pose featured on the statue was chosen by Kobe himself, adding a defiant message for anyone who might take issue with it.

The Iconic Pose

The statue captures Bryant in a striking pose, with his right hand raised, and his index finger pointing skyward, evoking an 'I'm No. 1 gesture.' This iconic pose is a snapshot from the historic game against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, during which Bryant achieved the second-highest single-game point total in NBA history with an incredible 81 points.

A Moment of Triumph

As Bryant left the court that night, he raised his index finger as a gesture of appreciation towards the cheering crowd, recognizing their support and celebrating the unforgettable achievement.

Honoring a Legend

The unveiling also featured a poignant seven-minute video, narrated by the esteemed Lakers enthusiast Denzel Washington and directed by the renowned filmmaker Antoine Fuqua. This tribute video commemorates the historic night of Bryant's 81-point performance, paying homage to his remarkable legacy.

Vanessa Bryant's Announcement

During her speech, Vanessa Bryant revealed that the newly unveiled statue is the first of three planned tributes to her late husband outside the arena. The upcoming statues will depict Kobe Bryant in his iconic numbers, 8 and 24, as well as a statue commemorating him and his daughter Gianna, who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash along with seven others on January 26, 2020.

A Lasting Legacy

The emotional ceremony and heartfelt speech by Vanessa Bryant, along with the unveiling of the statue, serve as a poignant tribute to the enduring legacy of Kobe Bryant. The upcoming statues are set to stand as lasting symbols of his indelible impact on the world of basketball and the lives he touched.