The Los Angeles Lakers have officially unveiled a 19-foot statue in honor of Kobe Bryant. Immortalizing the Black Mamba at the center of Star Plaza outside Crypto.com Arena, the 4,000 pound bronze statue was sculpted by Julie Rotblatt Amrany and highlights one of Bryant's most memorable accomplishments in the NBA.
The pose, chosen by Bryant himself, highlights his career-high and franchise-best 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, leading the Lakers to a 122-104 win. In an addresses by Vanessa Bryant ahead of the unveiling, she told the crowd, "For the record, Kobe picked the pose you're about to see. So if anyone has any issues with it...tough shit." She went on to say, "I'm thankful for all the fans. 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. It brings me joy to see how much love you have for all of us. We love you back."
In the statue, Bryant wears a No. 8 jersey. He is seen with his right arm in the air and the statue is surrounded by five championship trophies to represent the five Lakers titles he won throughout his career. As a request by the Bryant family, all four of his daughters' names are shown as tattoos on the statue arm, even though only one was born when he accomplished the 81-point feat.
Take a look at the statue below.