HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On Wednesday, March 15, the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood permanently placed the Los Angeles Lakers star, Kobe Bryant’s, footprints and handprints in the forecourt of the famous venue.
Bryant’s daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri appeared at the ceremony along with Bryant’s widow, Vanessa along. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and former player Byron Scott were also present.
Natalia, Bryant’s 20 year old daughter, spoke during the ceremony. “While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to know and love him as my dad,” Natalia said. “And let me tell you he is the MVP of girl dads to say the least.” She recalled during her speech that she and her father watched films like Stars Wars, Harry Potter, and many Marvel films which inspired her to get into a career in film.
“The reason behind it is I watched all of these movies with my dad,” she recalled. “Each of those memories I will never forget. He is the reason I’m pursuing film in college. And he is the reason the film has inspired me to create memories like ours for other people to even bring more fathers and daughters together like us.”
Her father won an Oscar for his performance in “Dear Basketball” which was a short film that he wrote that came out in 2017. The film is based on a letter Bryant wrote for The Players’ Tribune on November 29, 2015, announcing his retirement from basketball.
Natalia shared growing up that even when her dad worked tremendously hard with the Lakers and on his movie project, he always made time for his daughters.
“Dad, you are an icon, a legend, a storyteller and most importantly the best girl dad any young woman could dream of,” she said.
Bryant placed his hands and feet in cement at the theater in 2011 as the first professional athlete to be offered that honor. The ceremony that was held marked the fixing of those prints as a permanent display.
“It’s truly astounding to be standing here in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood forever displaying my dad’s hands and footprints,” Natalia said. “As you visit here for years to come, I encourage you to place your hands in his, and take a moment to stand in his shoes.”
Bryant died in 2020 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.
Many celebrities since Hollywood’s Golden Age have had their hand prints placed on the forecourt and are available for the public to see. People from all over the world travel to visit this location.