Vanessa Bryant Reveals Kobe Selected Pose for 19-Foot Bronze Statue at Lakers Arena

Kobe Bryant personally chose the pose for his statue, which commemorates his legendary 81-point game against the Raptors in 2006. This decision was revealed by his widow, Vanessa Bryant, emphasizing Kobe’s active role in determining how he wanted to be remembered.

The unveiling of Kobe Bryant’s statue was a momentous event, attended by friends, family, and NBA legends, all sharing their memories and admiration for Kobe. The statue not only celebrates his achievements on the court but also embodies his dedication, discipline, and love for his family.

The statue’s design and symbolism are rich with meaning, featuring Kobe in his No. 8 Lakers uniform, pointing to the sky, and set on a black, triangle-shaped base to honor coaches Phil Jackson and Tex Winter. Surrounding the statue are five replica Larry O’Brien Trophies, and one of Kobe’s quotes is inscribed at the base, highlighting his philosophy on leaving a lasting legacy in the game.


Choosing a single pose to encapsulate Kobe Bryant’s legendary career seemed an impossible task. So, the Lakers left the decision to him. Before his tragic passing, Kobe himself picked the moment he wanted immortalized in bronze. His widow, Vanessa Bryant, shared this tidbit during a poignant reveal outside the Lakers’ arena.

Just this past Thursday, the Los Angeles team unveiled the first of three statues. This one captures the Hall of Famer in his No. 8 jersey, skyward pointing, right after his iconic 81-point game against the Raptors in 2006. “For the record, Kobe picked the pose you’re about to see,” Vanessa stated, standing firm outside the Arena. “So, if anyone’s got issues with it, tough luck.”

The statue, a hefty 4,000 pounds, rests on a black, triangle-shaped base. It’s a nod to Phil Jackson and assistant Tex Winter, surrounded by five replica Larry O’Brien Trophies. Engraved at its base, one of Kobe’s quotes inspires: “Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.”

Rob Pelinka, Lakers’ VP of basketball operations and GM, felt three statues were just right. “That’s fitting,” he said, reflecting the City of Angels’ deep affection for Kobe. “He deserves something unparalleled in this city’s sports history.”

Before Vanessa took the mic, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss, Derek Fisher, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jackson all shared their thoughts. Jackson reminisced about the night Kobe scored 81. “We needed every point,” he admitted, recalling how they adapted their offense to maximize Kobe’s one-on-one opportunities, especially against Jalen Rose.

Pelinka, one of Kobe’s closest friends, shared his own reflections. Seeing Kobe point to the heavens, Pelinka felt a poignant connection to Kobe and his daughter Gigi, believing they’re in a better place. “The pose took on a new meaning for me,” he shared, visibly moved.

As the statue was unveiled, friends and legends alike took a moment to remember Bryant’s greatness. Abdul-Jabbar offered a heartfelt tribute, emphasizing that the statue represents more than Kobe’s likeness. “It’s a symbol of excellence, discipline, commitment, and love of family,” he said, acknowledging the statue’s significance in capturing a timeless figure.

Derek Fisher, Kobe’s former teammate and fellow 1996 draft class member, reflected on witnessing Kobe’s growth firsthand. “In basketball, he wasn’t just a player; he was a living legend,” Fisher remarked, capturing the awe and respect Kobe commanded.

In essence, the statue unveiling became more than a ceremony; it was a celebration of Kobe Bryant’s enduring legacy, a testament to his impact on and off the court.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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