Kobe Bryant will soon have both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired by the Los Angeles Lakers, an honor that no player has ever received. It also surely won’t be the only way the team memorializes Bryant’s career.
In recent years, the Lakers have taken to putting up statues of their biggest legends as well. Whether it be a life-sized replica of Shaquille O’Neal dunking on Staples Center or Magic Johnson leading a break in front of the arena for eternity.
It would appear to be only a matter of time before Bryant receives the same treatment. Much like with his jersey number that would hang in the rafters, thoughts of a statue have sparked debate.
While others have argued how Bryant should be depicted, he told Chris McGee on “Connected With…” that he isn’t really sure what he wants it to look like if he does receive such an honor, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I don’t know. Maybe … I have no idea. First of all, any damn statue up there is going to be pretty sweet. So it doesn’t matter to me.”
The Lakers have several options when it comes to immortalizing Bryant, but they’ll also face the same dilemma they did when choosing which number to retire in that they’ll have to decide which version of him they want to put up in bronze to sit outside of Staples Center.
Will it be the young, No. 8 version, full of boundless athleticism and potential? Or some version of No. 24, picking apart defenses from the post and out of a triple-threat?
Ultimately, rather than going with some nonspecific moment, they should show their Mamba Mentality and use a specific moment from Bryant’s career, embarrassing a defender for all eternity in a fashion that would make Bryant proudest and be the best testament to his legacy.
No matter what the Lakers do though, Bryant is right. They really can’t go wrong if they’re going to put up a statue of him in front of Staples Center. We’ll just have to wait and see what it looks like.
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