Thursday is a special day for many Angelenos and NBA fans across the world.
Aug. 24 is Kobe Bryant Day, honoring the Laker great who died in a 2020 helicopter crash alongside his daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
The date, celebrated in Orange County and Los Angeles, pays tribute to Bryant’s two jersey numbers, 8 and 24.
It also comes just one day after the Black Mamba’s birthday.
Locally, prominent landmarks are celebrating Bryant. The Santa Monica Pier’s Ferris wheel will light up in purple and gold while featuring messages like “LA + ❤️ + 24” and “LA + ❤️ + 8.”
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion widely considered to be one of top five players of all time, remains a prominent fixture in Southern California, with murals celebrating his career — and, often, the life of Gianna — spotted all over the Southland.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who both played and coached against Bryant, called the Mamba “one of the all-time greats.”
“We all think about Kobe to this day and everything that he meant to the league and all of us,” he said.