Kobe Bryant Day 2021: Celebrating Mamba's legacy in LA, OC, and worldwide
LOS ANGELES - Tuesday marks "Kobe Bryant Day," in the city of Los Angeles and in Orange County. While the special day has been made official in parts of Southern California, there are numerous ways to celebrate the Hall of Famer from your living room, throughout the City of Angels, and beyond.
In 2021, Kobe Bryant Day follows would have been his 43d birthday.
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In August 2020, Orange County supervisors voted in favor of declaring Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day for the longtime O.C. resident. This comes after Kobe Bryant Day was declared by the Los Angeles City Council in 2016 shortly after he retired from the NBA.
The day, 8/24, honors the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year NBA career. In 2017, he became the first player in NBA history to have two jersey numbers retired by the same team.
Below you'll find a list of ways to honor Mamba on his special day.
Take a walk around Staples Center
Staples Center is known as"The House that Kobe Built," as Bryant won 5 NBA championships in 20 seasons donning purple and gold.
The Lakers and Clippers moved to Staples Center in 1999, which marked Mr. Bryant's fourth season in the league.
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: General view of the Staples Center on August 04, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
The restaurants surrounding Staples Center are open for dine-in and takeout. This includes LA staple, The Original Pantry Café, along with Yard House, Fleming’s, El Cholo, Broken Spanish, Levy, and Rock N Fish Restaurant.
Last August, Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson announced there is a plan in the works to rename a portion of Figueroa Street after the Lakers legend near the arena.
Visit a Kobe Bryant mural
Murals honoring Kobe and Gianna Bryant can be found worldwide, with more than 300 in the Los Angeles area.
KobeMural.com details where you can find mural locations in Southern California, throughout the US, and across the globe.
"Kobe Bryant to me was just an absolute hero. His worth ethic and who he was as a person, his Mamba Mentality I really applied throughout my whole process of being here for so long," muralist Ladie One said.
She’s in the process of unveiling a Kobe Bryant mural in downtown Los Angeles that has taken 150 days to complete.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant Mural Map: Photos, artist info, locations in Los Angeles and worldwide
See an interactive map for mural locations below:
- Kobe Bryant Mural Map: Photos, artist info, locations in Los Angeles and worldwide
- Jenni Rivera's son channels his pain into a beautiful Kobe mural
- Fans paint murals around Los Angeles to honor Kobe Bryant
"Kobe meant everything to LA…this is his home and when this tragedy happened, it really hit here very hard... the victims were all from this town. To do this mural, I have to do it just out of love for Kobe’s family and for the Lakers Nation," said muralist Tyke Witness.
Witness’ mural commemorating Kobe and Gigi is located in Costa Mesa.
Add a few destinations to your bucket list
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, federal officials do not recommend international travel at this time. The CDC has issued travel advisories for several destinations including France, Greece, The Bahamas, Iceland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Still, one can add some destinations to their bucket list and plan for future travel.
Not only did Bryant travel as an athlete, but he also enjoyed traveling with his family around the world.
In 2017, he posted a picture with his wife, Vanessa, that was taken at Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. It's also a popular destination for those looking to capture the perfect Instagram picture.
Antelope Canyon recently reopened after being closed due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Navajo Nation.
After winning the NBA Championship in 2009, the victorious Lakers went to Casa Dorada Las Cabos Resort & Spa to celebrate. The resort even held a victory party for the champions.
His wife, Vanessa, also surprised him with a trip to Cabo San Lucas for his 40th birthday at the luxurious Ty Warner Mansion.
The Bryant Family also enjoyed trips to Paris and to the charming Italian city of Reggio Emilia where Bryant spent his young childhood.
RELATED: Philly via Italy: The formative years of Kobe Bryant
Listen to some of Kobe's favorite music
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 14: (L-R) Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Beyonce and Jay-Z attend Sprite's 3rd Annual Jay-Z And Lebron James "Two Kings" Dinner & After Party. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
There are parallels between rapper Jay-Z and Bryant. The day before Bryant was selected in the first round of the NBA draft in 1996, the Brooklyn rapper dropped his debut studio album "Reasonable Doubt."
It was an elite class that included Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury and future teammate, Derek Fisher.
Iverson, who was drafted first that year, penned a tribute to his longtime friend. "Dear Kobe" was released on The Players Tribune. The heartfelt letter reads in part:
"I’m not stopping you. Nobody is stopping you. You were KOBE, and you were gonna do whatever you wanted to do out there — because you were a sniper, an assassin, a cold-blooded killer … and now I’m talking about you in the past tense, and I still get emotional about it."
In 2013, Bryant said in an interview with Beyond the Buzzer that his favorite album of all-time was "Reasonable Doubt," followed by Jay-Z’s "American Gangster," and Notorious B.I.G.’s "Life After Death."
Bryant was also a fan of Michael Jackson, as well as A Tribe Called Quest. Of his upbringing, he said he grew up listening to The Whispers, The Temptations, Earth Wind and Fire, and Glayds Knight.
A YouTube video taken at Kobe Camp in 2010 shows Bryant mentioning Drake, Kanye West, and Nas when asked about his favorite music.
Bryant loved music and he was featured on songs with Destiny’s Child, Tyra Banks, and Brian McKnight.
He appeared in the Destiny's Child music video for their 1999 chart-topping hit, "Bug-A-Boo."
"XO," was one of Kobe Bryant's favorite Beyonce songs, and she sang the ballad at his memorial.
Also, as a proud #GirlDad, Bryant expanded his repertoire.
It was revealed he knew the lyrics to many Disney soundtracks, including Moana, and even listened to Taylor Swift since his daughters, Natalia and Gianna, were such big fans.
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and NBA player Kobe Bryant speak onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty
In addition to being giants in their respective industries, Swift and Bryant were both born in Pennsylvania.
In 2015, during one of Swift’s 1989 Tour stop in Los Angeles, Bryant surprised Swift with a championship banner. The banner honored the pop star for having the most sold-out shows at Staples Center and records indicate it's a title she still holds today.
"I think it’s important to listen to people who do great things and so it’s not just genre-specific. Taylor has been at the top of the game for a very, very long time…how and why? How does she write? How does she get into that mental space to be able to create things over and over and over? It’s a lot of pressure for her to follow up a number one album with a better album," he said in an interview on The Jordan Harbinger Show. "I don’t care if you like her music or don’t like her music. Look at what she’s doing…it’s unbelievable to be able to pull that off."
As arguably one of the greatest and one of the most popular basketball players of all time, he was often mentioned in rap lyrics. Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar are just some of the rappers who mentioned him in their music.
As a romantic gesture, Mr. Bryant learned to play Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata" for Vanessa.
Enjoy some of his favorite foods
The NBA legend was a regular at El Camino Real in Fullerton and his favorite menu item was the carne asada tostada with agua de melon.
RELATED: Mexican restaurant buzzing with customers who want to feel a connection to Kobe
It is believed his favorite food was frog legs dipped in a honey garlic sauce, which stemmed from a Bleacher Report article in 2010.
Wolf's Superior Sandwiches, located roughly 20 miles from Lower Merion High School where Bryant graduated, created a special sandwich as a tribute to him. While the restaurant doesn't offer frog legs, they replaced the delicacy with chicken tenders.
Take time to meditate
In a video with Thrive Global, Bryant confessed he once only managed to get between 2-3 hours of sleep a night and how the lack of sleep impacted his performance and made him feel "sluggish." Using his Mamba Mentality, he decided to evaluate what made him feel lethargic. He began improving his sleep habits and began practicing meditation.
"I meditate every day. I do it in the mornings and I do it for about 10 to 15 minutes. I think it’s important because it sets me up for the rest of the day…it’s like having an anchor... if I don’t do it I feel like I’m constantly chasing the day as opposed to being able to control and dictate the day," he said.
Bryant challenged fans to get an additional 30 minutes of sleep a day and to start practicing meditation with five minutes a day.
Enter the Magical World of Harry Potter
Kobe Bryant was a wizard of sorts on the court and the superstar was a Harry Potter superfan.
He even named his dog, Crucio, after one of the "Unforgiveable Curses" and the Nike Zoom Kobe VII were named after Potter’s "Invisibility Cloak."
In 2014, he took a picture with some of the cast of the Harry Potter films at Universal Studios Orlando.
You can watch all eight Harry Potter movies on DVD,4K, and Blue-ray or you can stream the iconic films on Peacock.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is open at Universal Studios in Southern California and Florida.
He was so inspired by "The Boy Who Lived," he used it as inspiration for his own novels in "The Wizenard Series," which combines his love for basketball and Harry Potter.
Enjoy the work produced by Granity Studios
Kobe Bryant quickly launched into his second career as a creator and investor following his retirement from the NBA.
At the time of his death, he well well on his way to becoming a billionaire.
He started a production company in 2013 while he was still playing in the NBA and that company grew into multimedia powerhouse Granity Studios in 2018.
The company produced Bryant’s "Dear Basketball," and in 2018, the animated short won an Academy Award.
He made history as the first person to. win both an NBA title and an Academy Award.
TOPSHOT - Kobe Bryant poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for "Dear Basketball," during the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should
Granity Studios recently released "Geese Are Never Swans," which addresses the mental health struggles that young athletes often face.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant legacy lives on through latest novel 'Geese Are Never Swans'
His latest novel, "Legacy and the Double" is set to be released Tuesday.
His other work includes several other novels and a podcast.
He also wrote "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play," where he opens up about his toughness on the NBA court.
Listen to podcasts featuring those who knew and loved him
FOX 11's Christine Devine interviewed the NBA All-Star throughout the decades.
"I got to meet a young Kobe Bryant in perhaps the most perfect of ways. It was at Laker practice and he was to meet a boy in foster care for our Wednesday’s Child segment on FOX 11 News," she recalled. "Kobe knew my only ask of him over the years was a few minutes of his time for a child in need."
"My last opportunity to work with Kobe was in his retirement as he was asked to share his wisdom and life story before a men’s Jewish philanthropy group in Newport," she said.
Devine also vividly remembers his exit as he left the event in order to get home to his wife and kids.
Below is a list of podcasts Devine hosted with those who shared wonderful memories of him:
As the son of famous rapper Snoop Dogg, Cordell Broadus is no stranger to the rich and famous. Yet still, the son of Snoop Dogg was in awe of Kobe Bryant the first time they met. Bryant had retired and was gifted a custom Laker lowrider by Snoop.
As the city of LA watches a mural go up on a downtown high rise, muralist Robert Vargas is working to set a Guinness World Record. It should come as no surprise that Kobe Bryant would be immortalized in the masterpiece he calls "Angelus."
- Noted artist Robert Vargas adds Kobe Bryant to high-rise mural
- Orange County Entrepreneur/Philanthropist Scott Seigel remembers Kobe
Scott Seigel made a name for himself as the (former) owner of California Closets OC alongside his wife Leslie. The Newport Beach couple has dedicated their lives to philanthropy. As the one who booked speakers for a distinguished Speakers Series, he was set on Kobe Bryant. In 2017 Kobe spoke before a Jewish men's group, Solomon Society. Christine Devine emceed.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy and inspiration through the eyes of a Long Beach youth basketball team, AEF Pro Camp. Coach Will says he was so torn when news hit of the death of Kobe Bryant that he walked out of work and just went home.
- Former Harlem Globetrotter Tammy Brawner, High school basketball coach Tear'a Laudermill remember Kobe
Perhaps no one can appreciate the contributions by Kobe Bryant to girl's basketball than two women who play the sport. One, Tammy Brawner, is a former Harlem Globetrotter, the 10th female to play in the league. She's now a producer and actress and would love to win an Oscar like Kobe. The other, Tear'a Laudermill(coach Tee), traveled the world playing basketball and is now a high school coach in Riverside.
Donate to the charities he supported
He may have been relentless on the court with his "Black Mamba," alter ego, but off the court, he had a heart of gold and was well-known for his philanthropy.
- Remembering Kobe: Archived video from 2007 features NBA legend's first kids camp
- Remembering Kobe: Catching up with a student who attended Kobe's camp in 2007
- Mamba League youth basketball players thank Kobe Bryant, aim to continue Black Mamba Mentality
Below is a list of some of the charities he supported:
Bryant served as an Ambassador for over a decade. The organization provides free after-school services in under-resourced communities.
Bryant granted more than 200 wishes for children with critical illnesses.
- Make-A-Wish recipient says Kobe changed his life forever
- Stand Up to Cancer
- The National Museum of African American History and Culture
Kobe and Vanessa were founding donors and donated more than $1 million to the museum through the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation.
It is noted that the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation no longer exists.
- Mamba Sports Foundation renamed in honor of Gigi Bryant
- Kobe, Gianna Bryant’s legacy to live on through the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation
After the death of her husband and second oldest daughter, Vanessa made the decision to focus her philanthropic efforts on the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation in their honor.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezov
For many sports fans, it seems surreal he is gone.
On Jan. 26 2020, Bryant was killed on what was a foggy morning in Southern California in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, three of her teammates, their parents, the team's assistant coach and the pilot. The helicopter left Orange County's John Wayne Airport and was slated to land at the Camarillo Airport for a youth basketball tournament at was called Mamba Sports Academy at the time. Authorities said the helicopter crashed in the Calabasas hills an estimated 45 minutes after its departure.
- Kobe Bryant, daughter, 7 others killed in helicopter crash in Calabasas
- Sports Academy retires 'Mamba' from its name 'out of respect' for Kobe Bryant's legacy
- Kobe Bryant's widow sues helicopter operator for deaths
His personal assistant, Cate Brady, told federal investigators Bryant decided to move up the flight time from 9:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. the day before because he wanted to see another team play before his daughter’s, Yahoo! Sports reported.
Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
Vanessa often pays tribute to her late husband and daughter, and also provides updates on The Bryant Family on her Instagram page.
Bryant made a tremendous impact during his 41 years of life and his legacy will continue to live on.
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