The Los Angeles Lakers return home after a lengthy road trip, but emotions will be high in their first home game back as the franchise will honor Kobe Bryant with his own statue outside of Crypto.com Arena.
Thursday marks a special day for the Lakers organization as Bryant will finally be immortalized in front of the arena he won five NBA championships in. Los Angeles will also don the Black Mamba jerseys in their matchup against the Denver Nuggets out of respect for the legend.
Anthony Davis is one of the few people on the roster who had a personal relationship with Bryant and he admitted he didn’t know what the statue would look like, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“I mean, he has so many. I don’t know,” Davis said. “It’s kind of tough to say. You don’t want to do too much for the statue but I’m kind of curious to see what it will be. You kind of see, it was just talks, I don’t think real talks from the league about changing the logo and they had his picture or his silhouette up there, so maybe it’s that. I don’t know, maybe it’s a turnaround.”
Davis and Bryant built their relationship during their time on Team USA together, and the big man expressed what the Hall of Fame shooting guard meant to him:
“It’s obviously gonna mean a lot. He meant a lot to me as a big brother, mentor. I kind of started I guess my career alongside him in the Olympics kind of just being under his wing, teaching me the game, teaching me about life and everything. So it will be a cool moment obviously to see that but then kind of reliving it again in a sense, so I don’t know. Emotions are gonna be high for me, for sure. But it will be a cool thing to have that statue outside.”
Davis was fortunate enough to fall under Bryant’s wing during the Olympics and the two stayed close up until his death. Davis has been open before about what Bryant meant to him and it’ll be an emotional day for him and everyone else with ties to the Black Mamba.
Anthony Davis details how his relationship with Kobe Bryant evolved after Team USA
Davis hadn’t even played an NBA game when he got to suit up next to Bryant on Team USA. However, after the tournament was over, Davis said that Bryant would keep in touch with him through texts and he would give him things to work toward:
“There was a stretch where he was sending guys texts for goals for the year… And I remember one year he didn’t text me and I was like what the hell? So I texted him asking what about me? And he gave me a list of things. But then just to come full circle playing for the Lakers, the organization where he played for 20 years and left his legacy here, being able to put on a Laker uniform and kind of just be a part of that in a sense, there’s no better feeling.”
Since then, Davis has evolved into a franchise pillar for the Lakers and will be next in line to carry Bryant’s legacy for the purple and gold.
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