Following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in 2020, murals that celebrated the memory of the five-time NBA Champion were created around the world. However, one particular mural that depicted Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, was recently in danger of being taken down, according to USA Today.
Painted by Louie Palsino, the mural is located in Los Angeles and sits less than 1,500 feet south of Crypto.com Arena, the home of the Lakers. Its existence was in jeopardy after the landlord of the building had ordered it to be removed. The occupants of the building, Hardcore Fitness, pleaded with the community to help keep the Bryant mural up. Thankfully, with the help of 2K Games and others, the mural will stay up as a landmark in the community.
On Sept. 14, Hardcore Fitness owner Cecilia Moran stated in an Instagram post that the mural was in danger of being removed. This led to an online petition to keep the mural and it has received more than 90,000 signatures to date, including support from Vanessa Bryant.
In meetings with her landlord, Moran received an extended deadline through October in order to get rid of the mural. In an appearance on ESPN’s “NBA Today” on Monday, 2K Games head of lifestyle and content marketing Ronnie Singh, better known as Ronnie 2K, announced that the video game company had reached an agreement with Moran’s landlord to keep the mural from getting taken down.
Singh even held a rededication ceremony near the mural on Thursday and told fans about how important the company felt that the mural was. Ironically enough, Bryant is the cover athlete of the NBA 2K24 video game, which was released last month.
“For weeks and months, people have lined up in front of this beautiful mural, taking pictures. For us to be a part of saving this thing is just a celebration of basketball,” Singh said. “This one means a lot to our community. It’s basketball-related. It’s Kobe Bryant. Our cover star for NBA 2K24 is Kobe Bryant. It made sense for us to get involved. We felt a moral responsibility to jump in and say, ‘We want to make a difference.’ Not words, but actions.”
The mural will be kept up until at least Oct. 26, 2024, and 2K Games will aim to extend that agreement.