The Los Angeles Lakers have retired Kobe Bryant’s two jerseys — but are yet to honor the late franchise legend with a statue outside of Crypto.com Arena.
Sculptures of six Lakers greats adorn the Star Plaza by the team’s home arena: Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal and L.A.’s iconic broadcaster Chick Hearn. However, the Lakers are yet to memorialize Bryant’s greatness in a bronze statue outside the sports complex, commonly known as “the house that Kobe built.”
But in a recent interview with NBA.com’s Mark Medina, franchise owner Jeanie Buss assured the Purple and Gold’s faithful she’s held discussions over erecting Bryant’s statue alongside the other celebrated members of the Lakers family:
Mark Medina: Are there any plans you can share on when Kobe will have his statue?
Jeanie Buss: Those are all things we are discussing internally. Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten anything. But it has to be done the right way and at the right time.
Earlier in July, Buss tweeted that she missed Bryant and called him “the greatest ever Laker” who “understood team over self.”
In another gesture to commemorate Bryant’s memory, Los Angeles City Council planned to rename the three-mile stretch of Figueroa Street between Olympic Blvd and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd — which runs past Crypto.com Arena — to Kobe Bryant Blvd.
However, the vote on the proposal was delayed on Oct. 21, 2020, and a new date has not been set yet.
Pau Gasol teases Lakers jersey retirement ceremony during 2022-23 season
Among the outstanding tributes to Lakers legend, the team still hasn’t retired Pau Gasol’s jersey after he won two NBA championships alongside Bryant in six years with L.A.
However, Gasol has recently hinted at a possible jersey retirement ceremony to take place during the 2022-23 campaign. “The ceremony could be the next season. Yes, I’ve talked to the franchise and Buss family. We are all very excited,” he said on RAC1.
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