Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant mural honoring anniversary of final game nearing completion

Renowned muralist Jonas Never is currently working on a piece that honors Kobe Bryant’s final game, and the tribute is expected to be completed on the five-year anniversary of the last time the late Los Angeles Lakers legend stepped foot on an NBA court.

The mural, which features an image of Bryant walking off the Staples Center floor one last time, will go on display in South Pasadena, Calif. It’s about halfway finished, and the progress Never is making on the mural was recently shared on Instagram.

The mural takes its inspiration from an iconic image shot by Hall of Fame photographer Andrew Bernstein, who also co-commissioned the artwork, per Rappler.

According to Kobe Mural founder Mike Asner, who has curated over 500 artworks dedicated to Bryant in over 40 countries, it is the first time the Bernstein photograph is turned into a public mural.

On April 13, 2016, Bryant closed out his iconic his career in fitting fashion by scoring 60 points to lead the Lakers to a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Last year, a section of the Staples Center court from Kobe’s final game and signed by Bryant went up for auction. The prized piece of sports memorabilia ultimately fetched $631,000 when bidding closed in early October.

Ever since Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others tragically perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020, countless murals have also sprung up throughout the U.S., especially in the Greater Los Angeles area, not to mention across the world as well.

Given Never’s esteemed reputation and boundless talent, there’s a good chance the mural set to be completed on April 13 will rank among one of the best.