Kobe Bryant is gone from the NBA, but he’s certainly not forgotten by his adoring fans in Los Angeles. In fact, a city councilman there announced Monday that “Kobe Bryant Day” would take place on Wednesday.
The date, Aug. 24, is not at all accidental. It can also be rendered as 8-24, reflecting the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during a career spent entirely with the Lakers and including five NBA championships.
“Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ is the City of Los Angeles’ way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles,” Councilmember José Huizar said in a statement.
“For 20 years, we were all the beneficiaries of Kobe’s incredible talent and legendary work ethic, and on 8-24 we’ll gather to say, ‘Thank you, Mamba.’”
Huizar, along with Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmember Curren Price, will honor Bryant at City Hall. According to Huizar’s statement, the player nicknamed “Black Mamba” will also be recognized for his philanthropy, including the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
By Wednesday, it will already have been quite the week for Bryant. Monday also brought news that he is helping start a $100 million venture capital fund, and he rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
“Playing basketball, the focus is always on winning. Winning championships, winning championships, winning championships. Now, championships come and go. There’s going to be another team that wins another championship, another player that wins another MVP award.” Bryant told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
“But if you really want to create something that last generations, you have to help inspire the next generation, and they create something great, and then that generation will inspire the one behind them, right?” he continued. “And that’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful.”