The National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. recently made the decision to honor Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant by displaying a game-worn jersey of his from the 2008 NBA Finals.
When Bryant tragically passed away in January — along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others — countless tributes sprung out in Los Angeles and beyond, a testament to his impact on the sports world.
The display was originally supposed to debut in March, but was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, interim director of the museum Spencer Crew felt that they had waited long enough to honor the basketball icon.
The jersey that is now on display is the classic Lakers “Sunday white” uniform. Bryant wore it during Game 5 of the 2008 Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Lakers won that night 103-98 to bring the series to 3-2 in favor of the Celtics. Bryant led the team in scoring with 25 points, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, and five steals.
Bryant originally provided the same jersey to the museum in 2017, along with a $1 million donation. Bryant was one of the museum’s most active celebrity donors, who also took to social media to encourage fans of his to visit.
NMAAHC is open Wednesday’s through Sunday’s from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and requires booking ahead of time due to the ongoing pandemic.
Bryant had on profound impact Lakers championship
The Lakers managed to keep their promise to Bryant this season by winning the NBA championship in convincing fashion. In the hours after the win, LeBron James, Rob Pelinka and Anthony Davis all used separate platforms to discuss how Bryant made his mark on this year’s team.
Perhaps the most emotional moment came from Rob Pelinka, thanking Bryant for giving him the strength and the confidence to lead the Lakers.
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