In April, Kobe Bryant played his final NBA game with the team that launched his pro career in 1996.
A Los Angeles Laker for all 20 of his NBA seasons, Bryant won five titles, appeared in 18 All-Star games and poured in 33,643 points after first donning his number 8 jersey, which he later changed to 24. In honor of those two uniform numbers, the L.A. City Council will honor the Newport Beach resident by proclaiming tomorrow Kobe Bryant Day.
"Bryant leaves a legacy as one of the Lakers’, and indeed, the NBA’s all-time greats," Councilman Jose Huizar said in a statement. "The Aug. 24 date commemorates the two numbers Kobe Bryant wore during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, the longest for any NBA player with a single franchise."
The proclamation, endorsed by Huizar and fellow councilmen Herb Wesson and Curren Price, comes in the same week Bryant announced that he's launching a $100 million venture capital fund with area entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. It will invest in data and media technology, according to reports.
Bryant told the Wall Street Journal that the fund would be seeking "the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do."
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Bryant's a capitalist with a (rented) helicopter, but Huizar's office stated that the city also will honor him for founding the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF), "which is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, and [to] encouraging young people to stay active through sports."
The councilman's folks also note that Mr. 8/24 has been honorary chair of the United Way in L.A., a Make-a-Wish Foundation volunteer and an "ambassador" for the After-School All-Stars program.
"Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and Kobe Bryant Day is the city of Los Angeles’ way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire city and region of Los Angeles," Huizar said. "For 20 years, we were all the beneficiaries of Kobe’s incredible talent and legendary work ethic, and on 8/24 we’ll gather to say, 'Thank you, Mamba.'"
The City Hall festivities in honor of Bryant are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.