On Jan. 26, 2020, the world was shocked to hear the news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others had died tragically in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. As the terrible news broke, tributes to Bryant - who played his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers - began pouring in from the sports world and beyond. At NBA games that day, teams took 24-second and 8-second violations in honor of Bryant's no. 24 and no. 8 jerseys.
In the days that followed, landmarks across Los Angeles were lit up in the Lakers' purple and gold. Cities across the country and around the world joined in the colorful tribute. Kobe was honored at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, Super Bowl LIV, 92nd Academy Awards and throughout the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.
“There are hundreds of murals painted by artists who are inspired, not because he was a basketball player, but because Kobe was an artist, too." ~ Jimmy Kimmel
Venice-based muralist Jules Muck was the first street artist to create a new tribute mural - her "Kobe & Gigi Forever" was completed just hours after the tragedy. Tribute murals have since been created in Los Angeles, across the country, and around the world.
At the public memorial for Kobe and Gianna, Jimmy Kimmel said, "There are hundreds of murals painted by artists who are inspired, not because he was a basketball player, but because Kobe was an artist, too."
An interactive map created by @kobemural shows the locations of more than 630 tribute murals in 45 countries. After the jump, read on for selected murals that celebrate the life and legacy of Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
Downtown LA - “Los Angeles Culture” by Jonas Never (2016)
Jonas Never is perhaps best known for his "Touch of Venice" mural as well as his "Game of Thrones" mural at Brennan's. His memorial portraits include Nipsey Hussle, Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain. Painted in 2016, Never's "Los Angeles Culture" portrait of Kobe Bryant is tucked away on Lebanon Street a block from the LA Convention Center.
1337 Lebanon St (at Cameron Lane), Los Angeles 90015
Grand Central Market - Jonas Never (February 2020)
Jonas Never completed this tribute mural the same day as the public memorial for Kobe and Gianna. The mural is located on the Hill Street side of the historic Grand Central Market and depicts Bryant celebrating the 2010 NBA Championship, when the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7 at STAPLES Center. It was the 16th championship for the Lakers franchise and the fifth title for Bryant, who was named Finals MVP for the second consecutive year.
@never1959: "Incredibly humbled to immortalize Kobe Bryant at @grandcentralmarketla. I can’t thank the owners & staff here enough for trusting me with this project. In a sea of quick tributes in random places I was proud to take my time & try my best to get it right."
Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles 90013
Crypto.com Arena - "Welcome to LA" by Jonas Never (2019)
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the grand opening of STAPLES Center (now known as Crypto.com Arena), Jonas Never created the "Welcome to LA" mural featuring LA champions, award winners and musicians:
- Kobe and Shaq hoist NBA championship trophies
- Kings captain Anze Kopitar raises the Stanley Cup
- Lisa Leslie with the Sparks' second consecutive WNBA Championship Trophy
- Clippers guard Lou Williams with his Sixth Man of the Year Award
- Kendrick Lamar at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards
- John Cena wins the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21
- Taylor Swift
"Angelus" by Robert Vargas (in progress)
Facing Pershing Square from the other side of Hill Street, Angelus soars 14 stories above Metro's Pershing Square Station. When completed, the 60,000 square-foot mural by Boyle Heights native Robert Vargas will be the world's largest outdoor mural painted by a single artist. A celebration of LA's diversity, Angelus shows Kobe Bryant flying through a blue sky with his arms raised triumphantly. At the top of the mural are three angels: one is modeled after Vargas’ mother; another represents a homeless woman who would watch Vargas while he was painting the mural; the third is unknown. Below the angels is an indigenous girl from the Tongva tribe, which originally populated the Los Angeles basin. Her hands form the “unity” sign in American Sign Language.
Follow @therobertvargas on Instagram to track his progress.
312 W 5th St, Los Angeles 90013
Downtown LA - "Grana" by ODEITH & Nikkolas Smith (August 2022)
"Grana" is a huge mural located two blocks from Crypto.com Arena. Produced by Branded Arts, "Grana" features Kobe Bryant and a black mamba painted by ODEITH; and Gigi with characters inspired by Kobe's Granity Studios, created by Nikkolas Smith.
@brandedarts: "This mural pays tribute to the power of inspiration, which Kobe used in the stories he told with his company Granity Studios."
1147 S. Hope St, Los Angeles 90015
Hotel Figueroa - "Kid Mamba" by Paul Daniels (Updated June 2021)
East LA native Paul Daniels originally painted "Kid Mamba" in February 2020. He updated the mural in June 2021 when the burnt orange wall was repainted white for the newly opened La Casita, the two-story poolside bar and lounge at Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA. Located off Cottage Place, "Kid Mamba" depicts Kobe gazing in the direction of Crypto.com Arena, which is a couple of blocks away.
939 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90015
The Container Yard - “Legends Are Forever” by Royyal Dog (February 2020)
Located in the Downtown L.A. Arts District, The Container Yard is a 60,000 square-foot event venue that's renowned for its street art, which includes works by Vyal One, NYCHOS, Tristan Eaton, Ricky Watts and many more. "Legends Are Forever" is the second piece at TCY by LA-based artist Royyal Dog (Chris Chanyang Shim).
@thecontaineryard: "The whole process of absorbing the actual impact of both the recent tragedies and the realization of who and what our city or all cities are comprised of for that matter has been unforgettable. The outpouring of love and support, the emotional camaraderie, pain and comfort, the unabashed sense of empathy and care... the closeness we so rarely encounter in our day to day... the sense of unity that we seem to feel so viscerally after such a wide-reaching tragedy... we are all human, our lives are fragile and years numbered... when I look at this mural, I see love, appreciation, determination, the hawk and the dove, a father and a fighter, a lover and a leader... It makes me feel nostalgic and heart warmed... and proud to be a part of this city... thank you Kobe."
The Container Yard
800 E. 4th St., Los Angeles 90013
Downtown LA - AISEBORN (February 2020)
Born and raised in LA, AISEBORN ("Ace-born") painted this mural of Kobe and Gianna on the side of an unoccupied building on Flower Street in Downtown L.A. Jonas Never's "Los Angeles Culture" mural is just a stone's throw away on Lebanon Street.
1348 Flower St, Los Angeles 90015
Jimmy Jam T-shirts - "Mambas Forever" by @sloe_motions & @sensaegram (January 2020)
Located in the Downtown LA Fashion District, "Mambas Forever" is a collaboration between @sloe_motions and @sensaegram. From Tha Sloe's caption to the IG video: "Full wall, this specific wall and image means a lot to me. This pic is from when Kobe won a championship and Gigi was a baby, we went to the parade for this championship and we ended up walking thru this street during the parade and celebrating. I actually still have graffiti on this block from way back then, super meaningful to me."
Jimmy Jam T-shirts
1361 S Main St., Los Angeles 90015
Hardcore Fitness - “City of Angels” by @sloe_motions (February 2020)
Located at Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp in Downtown LA, "City of Angels" is the second Kobe and Gigi mural by @sloe_motions, who plans on painting 24 tribute murals.
@sloe_motions: "And here it is, ”City of Angels!” my second Kobe n Gigi tribute. first and foremost I want to say that this wasn’t just a project I painted solo, this was a project done by the city of LA and Kobe fans. i can’t express the joy I had from the appreciation of everyone and the contributions from everyone. from people bringing me food, beverages, shirts and a long list of things to show their appreciation to what I was doing. what mattered most was the thank you’s from each and every person. im happy that we all came together in a time of mourning to bring this huge mural together. this was totally unplanned and a lot of freehand painting was done and took longer than I expected. this was a donation painting from mine and @hardcorefitcecilia pockets for no profit at all. i put all my jobs and work aside for over a week to show my appreciation to Kobe n the Bryant family, the city of LA and all people that were affected by this tragic loss. i can’t thank the people enough and if u were here to witness this mural go down u were all apart of this project. thank u everyone and let’s continue to stay strong threw the hard times! 22 more murals to go…"
Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp
400 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90015
Watts Civic Center - “Heart of a Legend” by PeQue (February 2020)
PeQue painted the "Heart of a Legend" mural with a quote from Kobe: "Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses." The mural is located at the Watts Civic Center, less than a mile from the iconic Watts Towers.
Watts Civic Center
1501 E 103rd St, Los Angeles 90002
Warning Skate Shop - "Be Legendary" by @gz.jr (November 2021)
StorQuest Self Storage - Ruben Rojas (February 2020)
@beautifyearth: "On this day we honor @kobebryant’s legacy and celebration of life alongside the city of Los Angeles and the rest of the world. Thank you, Mamba. This mural was painted by artist @rubenrojas for @storquest. In his words: This is for the city of Los Angeles. Let’s remember @kobebryant ‘s legacy not just on the court but beyond it, his impact on the world, the example of fatherhood and giving more than anyone will ever know. Here’s to embracing our self-doubts, chasing our own greatness, becoming the best versions of ourselves and living life to the fullest."
StorQuest Self Storage
3707 S Hill St, Los Angeles 90007
Gopar Auto Repair - "We're All Inspired" by Tetris Wai and Plek One (February 2020)
Located on De La Torre Way in Boyle Heights, this collaboration between Hector Arias (aka Tetris Wai) and Plek One features Australian designer Tyson Beck's reimagining of the NBA logo, which replaces Jerry West with Kobe Bryant.
Arias shares some insight in his IG post: "To Los Angeles, from Los Angeles. KOBE FOREVER!! @NBA make Kobe the new NBA logo! @theoneplek and I created this mural in Boyle Heights. We painted this wall 7 yrs ago with the image of Don Ramon in a Scarface theme. In the beginning, the community was upset about painting over that image and a few of them approached me asking, “WTH are you doing?” After I explained what we were painting next, the community loved the idea and they welcomed KOBE in the Latino community. The original Kobe reference by @tysonbeck I was using had a purple uniform and I changed it to a “Sunday Home Game”(white uniform) to symbolize the day he passed away, on a Sunday. With much love and respect, this is dedicated, in loving memory, to the 9 victims of this terrible tragedy. May their souls Rest In Peace and Glory."
Gopar Auto Repair
3425 Union Pacific Ave, Los Angeles 90023
Koreatown - Lakers Legends by Jonas Never (June 2023)
Jonas Never's newest tribute is a massive mural commissioned by the Lakers and Bibigo to celebrate the franchise's 75th anniversary. Located in Koreatown, the mural depicts legendary Lakers duos: Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal; Kobe and Pau Gasol; and Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
@never1959: "The Lakers & Bibigo picked these 4 duos to represent partnership, similar to the one that the team & the company have."
Wilshire Boulevard & Vermont Avenue (Koreatown)
Pickford Market - “Kobe & Gigi Forever” by Jules Muck (Jan. 26, 2020)
The first Kobe Bryant tribute mural was created by Venice-based muralist Jules Muck, who finished "Kobe & Gigi Forever" at the Pickford Market just hours after the tragic accident. Located just off Washington Boulevard in Mid-City, the mural quickly became a gathering spot for grief-stricken fans.
4566 Pickford St. (at Vineyard Ave), Los Angeles 90019
Backpack Boyz - "Los Angeles Stars" by Royyal Dog (February 2021)
LA-based artist Royyal Dog (Chris Chanyang Shim), who also created the “Legends Are Forever” mural at The Container Yard (see above), painted "Los Angeles Stars" at the Backpack Boyz dispensary in Mid-City. Located on the Cloverdale Avenue side of the building, the black and white mural features portraits of Tupac Shakur, Kobe and Gianna, and Nipsey Hussle with the city lights of LA in the background.
5160 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles 90019
Globe Tire & Motorsports - "City of Angels" by Artoon (February 2020)
@globe_motorsports: "City of Angels. Kobe Bryant was great, charismatic, and one of the hardest working athletes ever. Kobe’s impact went beyond basketball and his legacy will live on forever. We love you and LA loves you !! Come by and see our Tribute to the late Kobe and Gigi Bryant."
Globe Tire & Motorsports
2450 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles 90034
Ovation Hollywood - "More Than an Athlete" by Brian Peterson (June 2021)
Just steps from where Kobe Bryant won an Academy Award for Dear Basketball, "More Than an Athlete" was unveiled in June 2021 at Ovation Hollywood (then known as Hollywood & Highland). Located on the 4th Floor Terrace, the 25x45 foot mural by Brian Peterson depicts Bryant in a tuxedo kissing his Oscar, along with his five NBA championship trophies. The mural also features a quote from Bryant about his 2018 Oscar win: "I feel better than winning a championship. When you start over you really have to quiet the ego. You have to begin again."
6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028
Shoe Palace - JCRo (2016)
Long Beach artist JCRo created this mural of Kobe Bryant in action at the Melrose location of Shoe Palace in 2016. In honor of Kobe's final NBA game on April 13, 2016, the portrait is made from 413 triangles. Kobe ended his career with a W, scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz at STAPLES Center. After Bryant's death, the mural was covered by Post-It Notes with messages from fans.
7725 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90046
Sorella Boutique - "Energy Never Dies" by Painted Prophet (February 2020)
Melrose Burgers 'N Fries - "The Dreamer and The Believer" by Painted Prophet (February 2020)
"The Dreamer and The Believer" was created as part of a "complete makeover" of the Melrose location of the LA-based vegan chain, Fala Bar (now Melrose Burgers 'N Fries).
It's the second tribute mural by Painted Prophet: "I made this piece to commemorate the hoop dreams Gigi had and we all once had, watching our favorite NBA players growing up. As she turns to the skies consumed with wonder, he tunnels forward focused on her becoming a winner. He truly believed in his heart he was the best player ever, and in turn, planned to make her the best player ever. May this inspire you to be your greatest self. Not much compares to the love a Father has for his daughter."
Melrose Burgers 'N Fries
7751 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046
Pink Dot - Jules Muck (January 2020)
Jules Muck's second Kobe Bryant tribute is located at Pink Dot on Sunset Boulevard. The mural was inspired by a story that Kobe shared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, back in 1996 when Bryant was new to the NBA and Fallon was a pre-SNL stand-up comic.
@pinkdotla: "It’s been a hard week here in Los Angeles. Our love and prayers are with Kobe, Gigi, John, Keri, Alyssa, Christina, Sarah, Payton, Ara and all their families and friends. This mural is our tribute to their memories and our hope is that it brings Angelenos together to celebrate their lives."
8495 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood 90069
VEM Exotic Rentals - Artoon (January 2020)
Art Gozukuchikyan (aka Artoon) painted this mural of Kobe and Gianna Bryant at VEM Exotic Rentals in Studio City. Artoon had previously painted Kobe murals - in "5 Rings" he's passing the ball to LeBron James, who had announced he would play for the Lakers. "I Am LA" depicts Kobe with his arms outstretched - his right hand is a black mamba with its jaws wrapped around a basketball.
In an interview with the LA Times, Gozukuchikyan said, “Life goes on. It’s on us to remember them. It’s not just art, it’s a documentation. We’re documenting what’s happening in modern times.”
VEM Exotic Rentals
11459 Ventura Blvd, Studio City 91604
Nelson’s Liquor - “Saint Kobe” by Isaac Pelayo (February 2020)
Artist Isaac Pelayo painted his first-ever mural, "Saint Kobe" at Nelson's Liquor in Burbank.
@isaacpelayo: "This is my first mural and I couldn’t be happier it’s of @kobebryant however, my intention was not to paint Kobe the basketball legend we all know nor the entrepreneur. My intention was to paint a real man. To paint exactly what Los Angeles represents. Inspiration, love, compassion, strength, prosperity, happiness, motivation, and togetherness. I hope this shines even the tiniest glimpse of light in all that illuminates this city. Peace and love."
4420 W Victory Blvd, Burbank 91505
NoHo Tires & Wheels - “thre3 peat” by @sloe_motions (April 2022)
In April 2022 the prolific @sloe_motions unveiled “thre3 peat,” a Shaq / Kobe mural for NoHo Tires & Wheels in North Hollywood. The shop also boasts @sloe_motions murals of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, trios of Batmans and Jokers, and Harley Quinn.
NoHo Tires & Wheels
5615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood 91601
Collective Lifestyle - Levi Ponce (2016)
Pacoima-based artist Levi Ponce created this Kobe Bryant mural at the Collective Lifestyle store in 2016. On Instagram, @collectivelifestylela: "RIP Kobe. You left too early. You will always be known as the one of the greatest legends to ever play the game. Thank you for teaching us the mamba mentality. Thank you for blessing us with your talent and love for the game."
8906 Reseda Blvd., Northridge 91324
Menotti’s Coffee Stop
@gmilanesi: "Kobe is an inspiration - quite literally in the early days of my career when studying subject matter in the sports realm, all the way to instilling the mamba mentality in life, itself. There’s a method to the madness when I put 8•24 on everything for good luck. His work ethic & dedication are unmatched as well as his love for family & for our city. These murals are for you, Los Angeles - my heart & my home. They’re intentionally life size so you take a minute to think of the memories he’s left us, remember how precious life is & keep his legacy alive, forever. Thanks for the walls & a few more Kobe memories for us. Love always, g"
A few months later, a second Kobe mural was painted on the same wall by Shplinton, who references the now-iconic photo of Kobe celebrating his three-pointer against the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference first round series in 2008.
@shplinton: "This piece still gives me vibes. And all the YouTube videos of his interviews , motivation and mamba mentality videos. I love how it carries over to anything you practice."
Menotti's Coffee Stop
12430 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles 90066
3TEN Liquor - “Mamba Mentality” by Rask Opticon (July 2023)
LA artist Rask Opticon created the original "Mamba Mentality" at 3TEN Liquor in Torrance in February 2020. In July 2023 he painted a new version of the mural, featuring Kobe with his back to the viewer, surrounded by embroidery patches of the Lakers, Dodgers and Kings team logos; and patches honoring legendary broadcasters Chick Hearn and Vin Scully.
22505 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance 90505
Burger City Grill - "Through the Years" by Mike Trujillo (October 2021)
A native of Torrance, Burger City Grill owner Efthemios Tsiboukas (aka "EAT") is a huge Kobe Bryant fan. EAT invited Kansas City-based artist Mike Trujillo to paint a Kobe mural on the side of his restaurant in Old Torrance. Born and raised in LA, Trujillo created "Through the Years," which depicts Kobe going in for a dunk wearing jerseys from his entire career, including Lower Merion High School and the "Redeem Team" at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The mural also includes five NBA Championship trophies and Kobe's Oscar for "Dear Basketball."
@miketrujillo_signs_murals: "This one's for you Kobe, thank you for being such an inspiration not only in sports but in life. Keeping that mamba mentality strong and keeping your legacy alive."
Burger City Grill
1975 Torrance Blvd, Torrance 90501