The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil their latest statue outside Crypto.com Arena on Thursday evening, as Kobe Bryant joins the group of Laker legends enshrined in bronze in L.A. The Lakers waited until a fitting date, 2/8/24, to hold the ceremony as a way to honor the numbers Bryant wore with the Lakers and the number his daughter, Gianna, wore on her youth team.
There will be plenty of tributes and remembrances of Kobe on Thursday as his statue is set to be revealed, but the one TNT released on Thursday morning, narrated by Shaquille O’Neal, figures to be the best of the bunch.
Kobe Bryant is forever ♾️
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 8, 2024
In the video Shaq highlights all of Kobe’s accolades, but the line that stands out is calling him “the best teammate I ever had.” Shaq and Kobe were an absolute force on the court together on their way to winning three championships with the Lakers, but also famously clashed towards the end of their time as teammates. After years of feuding, the two eventually made amends and became friendly again late in Kobe’s career while Shaq was a broadcaster. Shaq has noted that he wishes he’d taken advantage of that better in the years after Kobe retired, and has spoken candidly about how Bryant’s tragic death was a blunt reminder not to take those friendships for granted. Thursday night figures to be an emotional one in L.A., but also a celebration of one of the franchise’s legends and his many accomplishments.