NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s basketball jersey from the 2008 season when he won his only regular-season Most Valuable Player award, will be displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington.
The Los Angeles Lakers icon and five-time NBA champion, died in a helicopter crash in January, at the age of 41. He was asking with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
The jersey which will be on display was worn by him in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against Boston Celtics, a series the Lakers lost before he led them to consecutive titles in 2009 and 2010. He donated the jersey to the museum in 2017.
The museum’s interim director Spencer Crew said in a statement, “ Kobe’s contribution on and off the court are remarkable. As a founding donor, he understood the significance of this museum to the nation and the world.”
“After postponing the March installation due to COVID-19, we believe now is the perfect moment in history to honour his memory by placing his jersey on view.”
The museum said that the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation contributed a minimum of $1 million to the NMAAHC, which shows the impact of African Americans on history.
The display also features other jerseys and basketball items of historic significance. It cements Bryant’s presence at the museum which already featured his image in the Sports Gallery.