Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest legends in the history of basketball, and his legacy will forever live on. Kobe will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame soon, and now, he is getting yet another honor. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has created a new installation called “Sports: Leveling the Playing Field.” This new installation will include numerous historical sports artifacts, including Kobe’s 2008 NBA Finals jersey, which he actually donated to the museum after taking a tour of the place.
For those who don’t know, Kobe was actually one of the first real donors to the NMAAHC, which makes him the perfect person to include in the new installation. His jersey is complemented by other significant sports uniforms, including LeBron James’ Nike LeBron 15 “Equality” shoes.
“In 1996, Kobe Bryant became the first guard to successfully make the leap from high school to the National Basketball Association. At the time, experts were skeptical that high school wing players could compete in the NBA. His success ushered in the modern era of younger players in the league,” the paragraph next to Kobe’s jersey reads.
In a statement via TMZ, Spencer Crew, a museum official, noted just how much Kobe means to the museum and how this jersey fits within the motif of the installation. “As a founding donor, [Kobe] 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 honor his memory by placing his jersey on view.”
Kobe is one of the most respected NBA players of all-time and seeing his jersey in the Smithsonian is fitting. All of his accolades are well-deserved.