A day after Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was remembered on what would have been his 42nd birthday, the city of Los Angeles and Orange County honor his legacy with a day in his honor Monday — 8/24, which are the two jersey numbers he wore during a 20-year NBA career.
Bryant, who led the Lakers to five NBA championships and finished as the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others while traveling to a youth basketball game in Ventura County.
Bryant was remembered Sunday in a variety of ways — by his wife, Vanessa, in an Instragram post; Lakers stars past and present in exclusive interviews; the Dodgers in a video tribute and by wearing his jerseys before their game; and by Candace Parker and the Sparks, the WNBA team he supported.
L.A. City Council member Herb Wesson announced Monday that a stretch of Figueroa Street will be named in Bryant’s honor.
No official ceremonies are planned in L.A. or Orange County. National Todaysuggests celebrating by wearing one of Bryant’s jerseys, watching clips from some of his biggest games or donating to one of his favorite charities, such as the After-School All-Stars, Stand Up to Cancer, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
The Lakers will honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant on Monday by wearing special uniforms when they play the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series.
Bryant was set to headline a Hall of Fame class alongside legendary big men Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. The ceremony, originally scheduled for Aug. 29, has been postponed until at least January.
Bryant, who won two Olympic gold medals, was an 18-time All-Star, 14-time All-NBA selection (10 first team) and 12-time NBA All-Defensive player (nine first team).
Hall of Famer Allen Iverson posted an open letter Monday on The Players’ Tribune to the player who helped the Lakers defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals and beat out Iverson for the 2005-06 scoring title.
“You were my guy.
“The 2001 Finals, we were going at each other like fighters. Not out of some beef or hatred — that’s what some people could never understand. Not out of hate. Out of admiration. Out of love.
“I can’t tell you how many pictures I’ve seen of me and you, at the free throw line, talking … and just smiling.
“Man, who the hell loses an NBA scoring title averaging 33 a game?
“How the hell are you going to average 35 like that, man?
“Why’d you have to do that??
“You had to do it because you’re you. Because you’re Kobe Bean Bryant. Because you’re a straight-up giant.”
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving posted video tribute to Bryant on Instagram.
“Kobe means to me what it means to plant seeds and watch them grow,” Irving says in a voiceover. “To endure pain, drama, hurt, and go through an array of negative emotions, how you feel about yourself, and then also talk about the journey and the climb back to being something better.”
WNBA superstar Diana Taurasi, whom Bryant referred to as the White Mamba, talked about the Mamba Mentality in a video posted Monday by Nike.
“The guy’s playing for everything every time he touched the court,” she said. “And I feel like that’s the one way that I know I can make sure that he lives, that when I step on that court, you don’t leave anything to chance.”
Here are some of the other heartfelt tributes posted to Bryant on his birthday and namesake day.