Kobe Bryant Mural Celebrates Legacy of a Basketball Great
The artwork by renowned artist Jonas Never celebrates the famed Laker star’s life at 1020 Mission Street in the city. The event is open to South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) members and donors. Organizers hope a public unveiling of the mural will take place later this year when COVID-19 restrictions ease
A way to commemorate the life of legendary Lakers icon Kobe Bryant will be held Saturday, April 24, in South Pasadena with the presentation of a mural defining the end of his playing days on the basketball court.
The artwork, completed on April 13, was painted by renowned artist Jonas Never. It will be on display as part of an open house at 1020 Mission Street, honoring Bryant’s 20-year Hall of Fame career.
Building owner Thano Adamson of Mission Tile West, tenant Andrew D. Bernstein are commissioning the project, which is co-sponsored by the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC). Veronica An of Andrew D. Bernstein Associates Photography, said Saturday’s informal open house is for SPARC members and donors. Organizers are hoping for a public unveiling later in the year when COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Bryant’s life will forever be remembered following the tragic crash of a Sikorsky S76B helicopter in Calabasas on January 26, 2020, killing all nine passengers on board, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, five other passengers, and the pilot.
Bernstein, team photographer for the Los Angeles Lakers for many years and senior official photographer for the NBA, co-authored with Bryant a bestselling book, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.”Distinguished for his work, Bernstein was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 with the highly-regarded Curt Gowdy Award for Media.
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Never painted the roughly 15’x15’ mural from a Bernstein photograph as Bryant was leaving the court for the final time on April 13, 2016 wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold after scoring 60 points on the night.
The mural unveiling marks the first tribute mural to Bryant in South Pasadena. Others made to the basketball great in the Southland can be viewed at kobemural.com