Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020 alongside his daughter Gianna Bryant was honoured with a 19-foot bronze statue on Thursday.
The one of three statues of the NBA player, who died at the age of 41 was unveiled at Star Plaza outside of the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, where his widow Vanessa Bryant delivered an emotional speech.
Bryant likeness stands alongside six other former Lakers: Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn.
Vanessa, who was welcomed with a huge round of applause delivered a very emotional speech to express her thoughts on celebrating the Lakers' player and the fans, who showed the player an unwavering support all along.
"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 in her speech.
She continued, "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 added.
She also revealed that this is not the only statue as there will be two more in front of Crypto.com Arena — "also known as the house that Kobe built."
One of which will feature the NBA player "wearing the number eight, one with [their] beautiful daughter Gianna, and one wearing the number 24."
While "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 said.
Vanessa went on to say, "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."
Vanessa concluded her empowering speech saying, "Leave the game better than you found it and when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend. And that he did."
Shortly after her speech, the curtain then dropped to reveal the gleaming statue with confetti showering on the stunning work of art and applause echoing the arena.
Who designed Kobe Bryant' statue?:
According to NBC 4, the sculpture was created by Omri Amrany and Julie Roblatt-Amrany, an Illinois-based couple that is responsible for creating every Lakers statue that is now on display in Star Plaza.
It is also said that Vanessa and the Lakers organization were heavily involved in the statue's design.
Meanwhile, The Lakers also honoured their late teammate wearing special "Black Mamba" jerseys to the ceremony.
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