Los Angeles will pay further tribute to Bryant with their uniforms on Thursday night.
On Thursday Feb. 8, the Los Angeles Lakers host the Denver Nuggets. It won’t just be a high-profile game between two popular Western Conference teams, however. The Lakers are unveiling their statue of Kobe Bryant that day as well.
The Lakers will also wear their ‘Black Mamba’ uniforms for their game against Denver in an additional tribute to Bryant, per the team:
“The Lakers have announced that they will wear their “Black Mamba” jerseys for Thursday’s game against the Nuggets, the day the Kobe Bryant statue will be unveiled ”
The date of the unveiling, 2/8/24, represents the jersey number (#2) worn by Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, at the Mamba Academy, and Kobe’s two numbers with the Lakers, which were retired by the franchise in 2017.
The 18-time All-Star and five-time champion — and the Lakers’ all-time leader in points, steals, 3-pointers made, games played, and playoff points — will join a handful of Los Angeles icons in Star Plaza, including six other Lakers.
Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and Chick Hearn have bronze busts outside Crypto, as do boxer Oscar De La Hoya and hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille.
The statue was created by Jolie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany. The studio has created the Magic and Kareem statues that sit outside Crypto, along with statues honoring Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Lombardi, Pat Tillman, David Beckham, among other sports legends.
According to the Lakers’ press release announcing the statue last summer, Bryant “participated in the initial planning” of his statue after his retirement in 2016.
On Monday, LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell reminisced about Bryant’s legacy.