He deserves all the roses!
Orange County officials just voted in favor of making August 24th "Kobe Bryant Day," Blavity reports.
The NBA icon passed away this past January, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a tragic helicopter crash. The world mourned a legend, and millions came out to pay their final respects. Now, Orange County, California, is paying homage to his legacy with an official holiday in his honor.
Every August 24th in the county is officially Kobe Bryant Day, a nod to the superstar's basketball numbers and his birthday. Bryant was born on August 23rd, and he wore the numbers 8 and 24 throughout his career as a professional athlete. When he decided to switch his numbers, Bryant said it was about commemorating his growth, not only as a player but as a man. He went on to make history as the only player in NBA history to have two jerseys retired by the same team.
"Twenty-four is a growth from that. Physical attributes aren't there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest. Things evolve," Bryant said at the time.
Orange County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel proposed the new holiday, saying, "[Bryant was a] treasured member of our community [who] inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up."
Bryant was posthumously inducted into the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame, and his daughter Gianna was also memorialized as an honorary 2020 WNBA draft pick. He gave so much to the game and to fans, playing 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2016, setting an example of what it means to persevere and leaving behind that coveted "mamba mentality."
Rest in peace, Kobe and Gianna!
Photo Courtesy of Harrison Hill/USA Today