He National Museum of African American Art and Culture of the United States inaugurated this Monday a space dedicated to former basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died in January of this year, due to the mark he left on basketball and the country’s culture during his career.
“Kobe’s contributions on and off the court were extraordinary,” acting museum director Spencer Crew said in a statement, revealing that a shirt that the former basketball star wore in the 2008 NBA finals, the year he won the MVP of the season, will be on display from today in the exhibition “Sports: leveling the playing field.”
Bryant’s uniform serves as a testament to the resiliency of African Americans & expands the on the impact of black popular culture in sports. The 2008 NBA Finals Game 5 jersey worn by Kobe Bryant is now on display in our Sports Exhibition: https://t.co/62PfelFWUv#GameChangers
— Smithsonian NMAAHC (@NMAAHC) October 19, 2020
Crew further noted that Bryant and his family donated a million dollars for the construction and inauguration of the museum in 2016. “As a founding donor, understood the importance of this museum for the nation and the world. After postponing this action in March due to covid-19, we believe that now is the perfect time in history to honor his memory by putting his shirt on display, “he added.
The exhibit, which also features other historically significant basketball jerseys and items, further consolidates Bryant’s museum presence, as there are already several images of the former player in the sports gallery.
Bryant was killed along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles last year. 26 of January. The American is regarded as one of the best NBA players of all time, since he has been part of the All Star 18 times during his 20-year career with the Lakers.
He was chosen in the first round of the 1996 draft and won five NBA rings, was the League MVP 2008 and from the finals on two occasions. The Lakers retired both of Kobe’s jerseys, the number 8 and 24. He is the only player in the history of the Los Angeles team to have received that honor. He also obtained two gold medals with the USA team at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.