Statue of Kobe, Gigi Bryant Won't Be Permanent at Crash Site, Says City of Calabasas

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 28, 2022

Artis Dan Medina stands next to his work, a bronze sculpture honoring former Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and the names of those who died, at the site of a 2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Government officials in California said there are no plans for a permanent memorial dedicated to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven other victims at the site of a helicopter crash in January 2020.

The City of Calabasas confirmed to TMZ Sports there are "no plans for any sort of memorial at the crash site," a stance also held by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, which controls the land where the crash took place.

Questions were raised about the future of the site after artist Dan Medina brought a 160-pound bronze statue to the area on Wednesday, the second anniversary of the tragedy.

Medina told Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times he only planned to display the statue from sunrise to sunset, with hope a larger version would eventually find a more permanent home.

"I kind of want to follow the law, respect the locals, respect the Santa Monica Mountains," he said.

Medina added it was "kind of emotional" to see the statue surrounded by other items brought by fans.

"The flowers, the jerseys, the hats blow away, and I think we need something more permanent," he told Winton.

Bryant became one of the most well-known athletes in the world during a 20-year career with the Lakers that included five NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals as part of Team USA.

The Philadelphia native, who died at the age of 41, was posthumously inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in May.