Nagaland News Watch

Alongside Michael Jordan and Other Notable Athletes Awarded Statues is Kobe Bryant

<p>Kobe Bryant’s 4,000-pound, 19-foot monument in downtown Los Angeles is only the most recent instance of a sports club paying tribute to a player who had such a commanding presence.</p>
<p>There are sculptures of six additional former Lakers workers, including five players, in the Arena alone. Bryant has joined that esteemed group.</p>
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<p>Athletes like Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente have many statues honoring them.</p>
<p>Here are a handful of the noteworthy sculptures that pay tribute to sportsmen.</p>
<p><strong>Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar</strong></p>
<p>A 16-foot, 1,500-pound monument of Abdul-Jabbar trying his trademark sky hook when he was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers has been outside the Arena since 2012. In 2004, Magic Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar’s former Lakers teammate, had his own monument installed outside the same stadium. Since Johnson guided the Spartans to the 1979 NCAA championship, there is also a monument of him on the Michigan State campus. Statues commemorating former Lakers players Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, commentator Chick Hearn, and current player Bryant are also located in front of the arena.</p>
<p><strong>Larry Bird</strong></p>
<p>A 15-foot, 1,900-pound monument of Bird, who guided the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA championship before winning three NBA MVP awards with the Boston Celtics, is located on the Indiana State campus. Before they became legendary rivals in the NBA, Bird’s Sycamores fell to Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans in the 1979 national championship game.</p>
<p><strong>Brown, Jim</strong></p>
<p>More than 50 years after his retirement, the Cleveland Browns honored Brown with a monument outside their stadium in 2016. At the time, 80-year-old Brown described it as “one of the greatest moments of my life.” Over 2,000 pounds are included in the 11 ┬Ż-foot statue. A monument honoring the 1967 Ali Summit in Cleveland, which brought together some of the best Black athletes in the country, including Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Brown, and Abdul-Jabbar, was also erected last year and features Brown.</p>
<p><strong>Roberto Clemente</strong></p>
<p>The Hall of Fame outfielder Clemente, who died in a 1972 aircraft accident while trying to bring supplies to the victims of the earthquake in Nicaragua, is commemorated with many sculptures scattered throughout different sites. Outside PNC Park, there are monuments of Clemente with other notable Pittsburgh Pirates players, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, and Bill Mazeroski. Before relocating to the Pirates’ present home field, the statue was formerly located outside Three Rivers Stadium. There are more statues dedicated to Clemente in Puerto Rico, Newark, New Jersey, and the Bronx in New York.</p>
<p><strong>Michael Jordan</strong></p>
<p>In November 1994, during Michael Jordan’s short NBA retirement, this bronze monument was dedicated outside the United Center. It was commissioned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Jordan had won three of the six championships he would ultimately win with the Chicago Bulls. The monument is 2,000 pounds in weight and stands 12 feet tall on a 5-foot-wide granite base. “The best there ever was” is written on the base. The finest that will ever exist. Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, two former Chicago Blackhawks players, are also honored with statues inside the United Center.</p>
<p><strong>Karl Malone and Joseph Stockton</strong></p>
<p>Soon after their retirements, these two well-known Utah Jazz teammates had statues placed immediately south of the Delta Center. In 2005, Stockton received his monument. He is the NBA career leader in assists and steals. One year later, Malone’s increased. Louisiana Tech, where Malone played collegiate hoops, erected a monument honoring him in 2023.</p>
<p><strong>DOE/DWIGHT CLARK Joe Montana</strong></p>
<p>In the 1981 NFC championship game at Candlestick Park, Montana’s 6-yard touchdown throw to a leaping Clark made for one of the most famous NFL plays of the 1980s. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 27-21. The play is honored with two distinct sculptures at Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers’ current home field. Clark makes the catch in one. In the other, Montana is seen celebrating by lifting his arms. Since 2018, the statues have been erected.</p>
<p><strong>JANE ROBINSON</strong></p>
<p>Following the vandalism of a monument dedicated to Robinson in McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas, on his 105th birthday, contributions have surpassed $145,000. However, there are additional monuments commemorating the guy who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball located all around the nation. Since 2017, there has been a 77-inch-tall monument depicting Robinson sliding home in front of Dodger Stadium. In Brooklyn, there is a memorial dedicated to both Robinson and his old teammate, Pee Wee Reese. A bronze monument depicting Robinson playing football at Pasadena Junior College in 1938 may be seen outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, Robinson’s adoptive city. Oversized bronze heads honoring Robinson and his brother, Mack, are located across from Pasadena City Hall.</p>
<p><strong>RONALDO CRISTIANO</strong></p>
<p>In 2014, a bronze monument honoring the soccer legend was inaugurated in Madeira, Portugal. In 2016, the name and jersey number of another soccer star, Lionel Messi, were defaced on the monument. Additionally, a bronze figure of Ronaldo may be seen outside an airport in Portugal bearing his name; however, the sculpture has drawn a lot of criticism on social media due to its striking lack of likeness.</p>
<p><strong>PAC SUMMITT</strong></p>
<p>In 2013, the University of Tennessee created a “Pat Summitt Plaza” to celebrate the women’s basketball coach who guided the Lady Volunteers to 1,098 victories and eight national championships, across the street from their home arena. There is a statue of Summitt in the square, but instead of her signature scowl, she is shown smiling with her arms crossed. The monument was erected a full year and a half after Summitt’s retirement as coach due to Alzheimer’s disease, which ultimately claimed her life in 2016. In addition, there are sculptures dedicated to Summitt in her native town of Clarksville, Tennessee, as well as on the Tennessee-Martin campus, where she was a player.</p>
<p><strong>DWYANE WADE</strong></p>
<p>The Miami Heat revealed last month that they want to install a monument commemorating Wade in front of the Kaseya Center later this year, albeit this one hasn’t been built yet. While he was a member of the Heat, Wade won three NBA championships.</p>