As the basketball world eagerly awaits the unveiling of the Kobe Bryant and Gigi statue later this week, Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard shares his sentiments on the monumental occasion. Lillard, a seasoned player known for his respect for the game and its legends, spoke glowingly about Kobe Bryant’s legacy and the profound impact he had, not just on the Lakers, but on the entire NBA community.
Lillard began by acknowledging the undeniable greatness of Kobe Bryant. “I think it’s special, obviously Kobe is Kobe, I don’t think there’s much to be said about that, especially Kobe for the Lakers,” Lillard commented, recognizing Kobe’s storied career marked by multiple championships. Lillard emphasized Kobe’s enduring legacy as an individual player, highlighting the indelible mark he left on the game of basketball.
However, Lillard’s appreciation extended beyond the court, emphasizing Kobe’s meaningful contributions to women’s basketball. “Spent his whole career there, championships, his legacy as an individual and what he meant to the game, and what he meant to women’s basketball? I think GiGi is part of his investment in that game. Obviously, he loved the women’s game,” Lillard passionately expressed. Kobe’s dedication to advancing women’s basketball became increasingly evident after his playing career, notably through coaching his daughter’s team and mentoring other female athletes.
Lillard believes the upcoming statue reveal is not just a celebration of Kobe’s legacy but a deeply personal moment for his family. “I think it’s only right, I think that’s gonna be a special moment for his family, and it’s something that is more than worthy,” Lillard shared. The statue serves as a tangible representation of Kobe’s impact on the game, immortalizing his contributions for generations to come.
When informed about the statue unveiling, Bucks head coach Doc Rivers expressed his excitement, saying, “Oh really? I didn’t know about that…Wow! It’s awesome; it should be. He means a lot obviously to the Lakers, but Kobe is not just a Laker. He’s like an NBA guy; we all own a piece of Kobe if you know what I mean.” Rivers echoed Lillard’s sentiments, emphasizing the collective ownership of Kobe’s legacy that spans across the entire NBA.
As the basketball community anticipates the Kobe Bryant and Gigi statue reveal, Damian Lillard’s reflections capture the essence of Kobe’s impact – not just as a player for the Lakers but as a universal figure in the NBA. The unveiling promises to be a poignant moment, symbolizing the lasting legacy of a basketball icon who transcended teams, genders, and left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and players alike.