A mural that covers the entire side of a building will be unveiled Wednesday on a day set aside to honor Lakers great Kobe Bryant.
The mural in downtown Los Angeles, one of several dedicated to the basketball legend, will be unveiled just blocks from the courthouse where closing arguments are underway in a lawsuit filed by his widow over photos taken at the helicopter crash scene where nine people, including Kobe Bryant and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, died in January 2020.
Here’s what to know about Mamba Day 2022.
These are the locations across LA where artists have painted murals of the late great Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.
What is Mamba Day?
The unofficial remembrance of Bryant, nicknamed “Black Mamba,” is every Aug. 24 — 8/24. The numbers are a nod to the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year career with the Lakers. Both numbers were retired by the Lakers in 2017, the year after he retired. Bryant, who would have turned 44 Tuesday, is the first NBA player to have two numbers retired by the same team.
Bryant wore No. 8 from 1996 to 2006, then switched to 24.
Bryant was a career-long Laker, winning five NBA titles and playing in 18 All-Star Games. He finished his illustrious career as the storied franchise’s all-time leader in games (1,346), minutes played (48,637), field goals (11,719) 3-point goals (1,827), points (33,643) and other team records.
Where is the new Kobe Bryant mural?
The new outdoor mural measuring 125 feet-by-32 feet is at the offices of the West Coast Trial Lawyers at 1147 S. Hope St. in downtown Los Angeles. Mural artist Odeith and L.A.-based illustrator Nikkolas Smith created the work which they called the largest portrait of Bryant in the city.
The mural depicts a close-up of Bryant’s face, in black-and-white, in the middle, flanked by a mamba snake on the left and, in color, a group of children — including Gianna — playing basketball atop a giant book. The book is “Epoca,” one of the children’s stories Bryant created through his Granity Studios company after he retired from basketball.
The mural is designed to highlight both Bryant’s fiery competitive nature and his gentler side, according to a spokesman for the artists.
“Kobe Bryant created stories for children that featured Black and Brown characters, so he inspired kids in ways that went even beyond what he did on the basketball court,” Smith told City News Service. “It was an honor to make this mural, a dedication to Kobe and his creative and athletic genius.”
What else is planned for Mamba Day?
The Pacific Park Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier will be illuminated Wednesday with the numbers 8 and 24 and Lakers colors. The light show will feature patterns and transitions.
Sunset is scheduled for 7:29 p.m.
Pictures: These are the Victims in the Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash
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