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Kobe Bryant’s Family Attends Statue Unveiling at Arena: ‘This Is for All of You’

Kobe Bryant’s Family Attends Statue Unveiling at Arena: ‘This Is For All of You’
Courtesy of Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their daughters were on hand as a touching tribute for the Black Mamba was revealed in Los Angeles.

Natalia, 21, Bianka, 7, and Capri, 4, joined Vanessa, 41, at the unveiling of a statue honoring the late NBA legend at the Arena on Thursday, February 8, ahead of the Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets.

“It goes without saying that today is an especially sad day for us since Kobe and Gigi aren’t here for what is supposed to be an incredibly joyous moment and Kobe’s legacy,” Vanessa said. “Kobe has so many people that have supported him all over the world from the very beginning. And this moment isn’t just for Kobe, but it’s for all of you that have been rooting for him all of these years.”

She continued: “And to the fans here in L.A., 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.”

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The bronze statue, created by sculptor Omri Amrany, depicts Kobe in his signature pose, pointing to the sky with his right hand. The words “Kobe Bean Bryant” and “Black Mamba” are featured at the base, along with a photo of Kobe striking the same pose in his historic 81-point game. (Kobe’s career high was achieved in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors.)

Kobe Bryant’s Family Attends Statue Unveiling at Arena: ‘This Is For All of You’
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

“And for the record, Kobe picked the pose you’re about to see,” Vanessa added on Thursday. “So if anyone has any issues with it, tough s—t. It is what it is.”

Confetti and applause filled the air as the curtain dropped to reveal the statue, which is one of three created in Kobe’s honor.

“As I see today’s current generation of star players following Kobe’s footsteps with huge scoring games,” Vanessa continued. “I know he would take pride in knowing that he is still pouring inspiration into the game that was so special to him.”

Following the ceremony, Vanessa took to Instagram to share a photo of herself and her daughters in front of the statue. She captioned it with a quote from her late husband. “‘LEAVE THE GAME BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. AND WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE, LEAVE A LEGEND.’ ~ @kobebryant💜💛👑🐍,” she wrote.

Kobe Bryant’s Family Attends Statue Unveiling at Arena: ‘This Is For All of You’
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Kobe died at the age of 41 in a January 2020 helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers.

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In the years since their family’s loss, Vanessa and her children have kept Kobe and Gianna’s memories alive. Earlier this year, Natalia received a special gift on behalf of her late sister and father for her 21st birthday.

“Happy 21st birthday Slim-a-knees!” read a card on a bouquet of pink roses, which Natalia shared via her Instagram Story on January 24. “Love you always, Daddy and Gigi ❤️.”

Vanessa celebrated her daughter’s milestone with a sweet message of her own. “Happy birthday 21st birthday @nataliabryant!!! We love you so much!!!!” Vanessa wrote via Instagram last month. “You are what every parent hopes and prays for. You are such a beautiful, strong, smart, loving young woman with the kindest soul and I am so proud to be your mommy! I love you, mama! ❤️😘🎂🎉❤️.”

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