Kobe Bryant: See Mural Tributes to Lakers Legend Being Created in New York City

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles on Jan. 26 and two artists from New York have gone to the streets to honor the victims. Mark Paul Deren, 39, is on the verge of completing a huge mural of Bryant and Gianna in Chinatown and Fumero Ism has finished a mural of the two at the First Street Green Art Park courtyard. Deren, who goes by the artist name Madsteez, has done a previous mural of Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers legend loved his work.

"He was a super appreciative, humble dude and he loved it," Deren said to the New York Post. "I mean how could you not like yourself like 20 feet tall."

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And for the second mural, Ism said he wanted to show the love Bryant and Gianna had for each other.

"The mural is a metaphor for how fleeting life can be and how priceless it is," Ism stated to the New York Post. "In the mural, I wanted to convey the love Kobe and Gigi had for each other by illustrating a simple gesture of a hug with Kobe's right arm around Gigi, adorned with joyful facial expressions that portrays a powerful father-daughter bond between them."

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The murals come on the heels of Bryant and Gianna being remembered at a Celebration of Life memorial at the Staples Center on Monday. NBA legend Michael Jordan, who has been a subject of many murals throughout his career, spoke at the memorial and he revealed the relationship he had with Bryant.


"In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank. He left it all on the floor. Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe."

Jordan continued: "He used to call me, text, me, 11:30, 12:30, 2:30, 3:00 in the morning talking about post moves, footwork, and sometimes the triangle. At first, it was an aggravation. But then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know. It's an amazing thing about passion. If you love something, if you have a strong passion for something, you would go to the extreme to try to get it."