Smithsonian Honors Kobe Bryant By Displaying His 2008 Finals Jersey

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington is further honoring Kobe Bryant's legacy.

On Monday (October 19), the NMAAHC unveiled a display that features the late Lakers legend's jersey that he wore during Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

“We wanted to be able to share his impact,” Damion Thomas, the museum’s sports curator, said, per the Los Angeles Times. “It really is about the cultural significance of basketball as an expression of the African American fight for greater rights.”

The NMAAHC already featured Bryant's photo in its Sports Gallery. As noted by the museum in a statement on Monday, the late basketball star and his wife, Vanessa, helped to build the museum with a $1 million donation from their foundation.

"At NMAAHC, Kobe holds a very special place in our hearts. In the very critical stages of building our museum, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant became founding donors, giving us the boost that we needed to keep moving forward," the museum shared. "Kobe also had the opportunity to visit the museum before its opening. He was so moved by the experience that he later donated his uniform jersey from the 2008 NBA Finals, the year he was named the league MVP."

"Bryant’s uniform serves as a testament to the resiliency of African Americans and expands the on the impact of black popular culture in sports," the NMAAHC's statement continued.

Photo: Getty Images

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