Kobe Bryant statue opens up to the public

Kobe Bryant continues to be one of the most beloved athletes across the globe. So, it’s no surprise fans from across the country traveled to Los Angeles to see him immortalized in bronze outside the Crypto.com Arena.

On Thursday, Jeanie Buss, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Derek Fisher, and Phil Jackson joined Vanessa Bryant on stage with heartwarming speeches ahead of the first statue unveiling ceremony. That evening, it was also revealed the statue will be the first of three Kobe Bryant statues that will be showcased outside the downtown LA arena.

"To the fans here in LA, this is a special city Kobe was so proud to represent. You welcomed him with open arms and have been so important to him, our family and his legacy. It brings me so much joy to see how much love for all of us. We love you back," Vanessa Bryant said during the private ceremony.

Lakers color commentator and former player Stu Lantz, from right, poses for a photo with Vanessa Bryant, former coach Phil Jackson, Lakers President Jeanie Buss, former Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Derek Fisher after the Los Angeles Lakers u (Getty Images)

The statue is 19 feet tall and weighs about 4,000 pounds. The bronze sculpture pays tribute to Bryant’s historic 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

An NBA enthusiast shared with FOX 11 one of the first fan photos to be taken of the Kobe Bryant statue after it became open to the public on Friday, Feb. 9.

After the unveiling, the LA Lakers released a video tribute narrated by Denzel Washington commemorating that remarkable evening inside the "House that Kobe Built."


The "Black Mamba" became the sixth legendary Laker to be honored with a statue outside the Crypto.com Arena.

Hours after the game, the Lakers wore Black Mamba jerseys for their home game against the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, the purple and gold couldn’t get the win, losing to the defending NBA champions 114-106. 

Plans for the unveiling of the two other statues were not available. 

The first statue opened up to the public at Star Plaza at 10 a.m. Friday.