Lakers’ Kobe Bryant statue draws disappointed reaction from LA fans

Did the Lakers do Kobe dirty?

On Thursday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers unveiled a statue of late franchise icon Kobe Bryant. Bryant won five championships with the Lakers during his career, which spanned from the mid 1990s all the way to the 2015-16 season, in which he scored 60 points in his final NBA game.
Bryant tragically passed away in January of 2020 in a helicopter accident, and calls for the team to memorialize its arguable most iconic player have grown louder in the years since.

On Thursday, the Lakers did just that, but fans were not exactly thrilled with what they saw when the curtain dropped and revealed a statue of Bryant in his number eight jersey, one arm extended toward the sky.

Some noted that the face of the figure was not exactly the spitting image of Bryant himself.

Others noted the team’s decision to depict Bryant in his number eight jersey, and not 24, the number he wore when he was the unequivocal best player on his final two championship teams with the franchise.

Overall, it is objectively easy to see why the statue might be the slightest bit underwhelming when memorializing a figure as large as Kobe Bryant. Bryant had arguably the most accomplished Lakers career of any player to wear the purple and gold, winning five championships, a league MVP, and also once scoring 81 points in a game in 2006.

Although he may no longer be here with us, it’s nice to see the late icon being immortalized in this way, even if the statue itself might take some getting used to.