LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Fans, friends, and family bellowed "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe," Wednesday at Los Angeles City Hall.
They were celebrating Kobe Bryant Day on 8/24. Coincidently, the former Lakers star wore those two numbers during his legendary 20-year NBA career, before calling it quits in 2016.
Council chambers sings Happy Birthday to Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/idJw6QbPUN— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 24, 2016
"I've got to say, when I first came to L.A., I never ever thought that this day would ever be possible," Bryant said Wednesday at City Hall.
"This is an incredible and wonderful city," Bryant said, according to ESPN's J.A. Adande. "And after today's amazing celebration, I hope that this legacy extends beyond basketball. I hope that August 24, on this day, is a celebration of passion and hard work, dedication and mentorship. Because teaching the next generation how to achieve greatness is really what it's all about. And together as a city we can do this. We only play for one thing in this city, and that's winning championships. Inspiring the next generation to achieve their dreams, whatever that dream might be, is the most important thing. We need each other to do it. And together we will do that, and certainly we will win championship after championship."
"Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant's 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and 'Kobe Bryant Day' is the City of Los Angeles' way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles," L.A. City Councilman Huizar said in a statement, via the Los Angeles Times.
The occupants of the chambers also sang Happy Birthday to Bryant, who turned 38 Tuesday. Bryant averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in his career with the Lakers. He won five NBA championships.