After the sudden and tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in 2020, there have been numerous efforts to help commemorate their lives and keep their legacy alive.
One of those efforts was murals of both Kobe and Gianna, many being painted in Southern California. Kobe meant a lot to the game of basketball and fans worldwide, while Gianna was becoming an up-and-coming basketball prodigy.
Arguably the most popular mural is downtown with the two in their basketball uniforms with angel wings in heaven, created by Sloe Motions in 2020. It is located about 0.5 miles away from Crypto.com Arena, allowing fans to take pictures before or after games, making it a must-see on a game day.
The owner of the building was reportedly looking to turn the wall into advertisements, resulting in the eventual removal of the mural and causing for a petition to be made to keep the mural up that Vanessa Bryant was recently encouraging people to sign. But it seems 2K Sports Digital Marketing Director Ronnie Singh saved it, via Chuck Schilken of the L.A. Times:
“We saw the petition, we saw how important it was for everyone, we had a discussion internally with our amazing marketing team and we’re like, ‘We gotta do something about this,’” Singh told The Times. “And then Vanessa [Bryant] posted about it. … I’m like, ‘Yes! That’s the confirmation we need that this mural’s super important.’ And so when she posted about it, we sprung into action. We had several conversations with the landlord, the tenant, a lot of people in the community and just figured it out.”
For Singh to be able to preserve the mural is a huge feat due to his popularity and he doesn’t want this to be seen as a PR stunt for 2K:
“We wanted to maintain the mural in its iconic form,” Singh said. “This is not about us getting a branding moment or anything like that, it was just important for us to do something for this mural that was about to be taken down. So no logo addition, nothing like that.”
Here are some further comments from Ronnie on why this was so important to 2K Sports:
We’re not saying goodbye to Kobe & Gigi’s mural. This beloved mural is a powerful symbol for basketball fans, @Lakers fans, & the community of LA.
— Ronnie 2K 2K24 (@Ronnie2K) October 27, 2023
While the petition was signed by 90,000 people, the landlord ultimately still had the final say on whether the mural stayed up. But, Singh was able to have conversations with those involved with the building and came to a resolution.
Thankfully, the mural seems to be sticking around and will continue to be a destination for Lakers fans for years to come. Allowing for the legacy of Kobe and Gianna to live on.
Rob Pelinka believes Austin Reaves has Bryant’s ‘Mamba gene’
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was the agent of Kobe and was able to form a positive relationship with him and his family. After spending a lot of time with Bryant through the years, Pelinka believes Austin Reaves has the ‘Mamba gene,’ which is very high praise for the third-year guard.
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