The big reveal – which showed the first of the three statues – happened right outside Crypto.com Arena, formerly known as Staples Center, on Thursday afternoon. The first statue – revealed Thursday – is in honor of Bryant's 81-point game, the second statue will be of Bryant and his daughter Gianna and a third statue will have Bryant in the No. 24 jersey.
The "Black Mamba" joins fellow Laker legends Shaquille O'Neal, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Chick Hearn and Elgin Baylor with statues outside the home of the LA Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks.
The Kobe Bryant Statue during an unveiling ceremony at Crypto.com Arena on February 08, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Other sports heroes honored outside the arena include boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, NHL's "Great One" Wayne Gretzky – who had a stint with the Los Angeles Kings – and fellow Kings legends Luc Robitaille and Dustin Brown.
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Thursday's reveal adds to Bryant's extensive list of honors, which includes a posthumous induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021. Over the course of his 20-year NBA career – all with the Lakers – Bryant won five NBA championships, was named the NBA MVP after the 2007-2008 regular season, was named the NBA All-Defensive team 12 times and was named the league's all-star 18 times.
Bryant also helped the United States win two gold medals and the Lakers retired No. 8 and 24 in Bryant's honor.
Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in the Jan. 2020 helicopter crash.