Report: Lakers make 4 changes to Kobe Bryant’s statue outside of home arena

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The statue of Kobe Bryant outside of Arena reportedly has been corrected after multiple mistakes were found in the original tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers icon.

The statue honoring Bryant was unveiled on Feb. 8. It reflects a famous pose that followed his 81-point performance from 2006 and includes the box score from that contest against the Toronto Raptors.

Three misspelled words have been fixed: the last name of former Raptors guard Jose Calderon, the first name of former Lakers guard Von Wafer and the word “Decision” that represented the Coach’s Decision showing that Wafer did not take part in the game.

In addition, the facsimile signature for Bryant initially read “Kobe 24,” but the statue shows him wearing jersey No. 8. That signature now reads simply, “Kobe.” His career achievements that appear on the front of the statue base also have been adjusted, and the name of the sculptor, Julie Rotblatt Amrany, also has been added to the base.

The 81-point game remains the second-best single-game total in NBA history, behind only the famous 100-point game of former Lakers great Wilt Chamberlain while with the Philadelphia Warriors.

Plans still remain to add two additional statues to honor Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020 at the age of 41. One will show the Hall of Famer wearing jersey No. 24 and the other will include his daughter Gianna, who was also among the nine people who perished in the crash.

Perhaps the fixes can be seen as a good omen as the Lakers wrap up the regular season and head toward what they hope is another long playoff run.

They have three regular season games remaining, including Tuesday night’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers have won nine of their past 11 games and sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. They are just 1.5 games out of sixth place and the final guaranteed playoff position.

Last season, the Lakers were able to emerge from the play-in round and make it all the way to the 2023 Western Conference Finals. They were swept there by the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets and certainly would want to avoid taking that difficult path again as they seek another NBA title of their own.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.