To honor the late great Kobe Bryant, fans in Long Beach can celebrate Kobe Bryant Day by visiting seven murals painted by local artists throughout the city.
August 24th, 8.24, is now known to many as Kobe Bryant Day. This day, cleverly chosen for the two numbers worn by Bryant during his 20 year stint as a Los Angeles Laker, 8 and 24, is meant to celebrate the long and successful career of Bryant; as well as a way to honor the 18-time NBA All-Star following his tragic death. The day also follows the birthday of the Hall of Famer, August 23rd, giving fans consecutive days to honor and now remember and grieve the late great Kobe Bryant.
On January 26th, 2020, Bryant alongside his daughter Gianna Bryant, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan were tragically killed in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. As millions around the world continue to mourn all of the lives lost that day, fans of the Los Angeles Lakers legend have found different ways to channel their grief in honor of Bryant and his “Mamba Mentality.” From Kobe tattoos to airbrushed t-shirts, custom cars featuring his likeness, and even hair and nail designs featuring his numbers draped in the always stunning purple and gold – fans of the Black Mamba continue to find new outlets to keep his memory alive as well as the memory of his daughter, Gianna, affectionately known as Mambacita.
One, always appreciated, creative outlet for artistic fans has been the creation of small paintings or large murals for other fans, community members, and visitors to enjoy. While many fans will take to their social media pages on 8.24 to post about the former Olympian, others will flock to the many murals found around the world to mourn and reflect. In Long Beach, fans of Bryant can visit several murals throughout the city as well as many others throughout Southern California. Erected by local artists, each mural features a version of Bryant as seen through their eyes; some also feature his daughter Gianna and showcases their bond as both father and daughter, and basketball inspirations.
Although driving around on a scavenger hunt to find each mural may be a fun adventure, those who want to locate a mural can utilize the popular website and Instagram page, kobemural.com or @kobemural for faster results. Created by a local California resident, the site and page serve as a resource for other fans to easily find the artworks featuring the MVP. The creator of the site, who asked to be referred to as “Mike” only, is a life-long Lakers fan and Kobe enthusiast. He created the free site and matching Instagram page about a year ago, and says, “This was a passion project purely to be used as a resource.” He continued, “These murals are a place to heal and mourn” Mike wanted to provide a place where “the artist’s work is shared and easily located.” Through the site and Instagram, fans can currently navigate themselves to 586 and counting Kobe and Gianna Bryant Murals in over 40 countries worldwide.
Using the Kobe Murals site, Long Beach residents and visitors can head to seven murals at the following locations:
Mural 288: 2331 1/2 E.10th St, Long Beach
Mural 35: Danny’s Signs 1602 Cherry Ave, Long Beach, CA
Mural 125: Signal Hill Liquors
1898 Cherry Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Mural 13: Priority Barber Club
3390 Orange Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Mural 158: 5210 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805
artists: @hugo_lomeli @roblbc562
Mural 155: 6176 N Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90805
Mural 277: Blue City Blendz, Long Beach (Inside) 1922 W Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90810
The legacy of Kobe Bryant will always live on through his family, friends, and fans. On this day and every day, may we continue to remember and honor the Lakers legend, father, husband and son who taught us all to live fully and with a Mamba Mentality.
By Alysia Burke
Twitter : @AlysiaRBurke