Downtown

On “Mamba Day” in DTLA, Branded Arts unveiled the “Grana” mural in honor of Kobe Bryant. (Submitted)

Since the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant and her teammates, memorials and art honoring the late player have proliferated across LA.

But, the art production company Branded Arts, headed by Warren Brand, wanted to do something different. On Aug. 24, also known as “Mamba Day,” in honor of Bryant, Branded Arts, in partnership with West Coast Trial Lawyers, unveiled the mural dedicated to Bryant at its Downtown headquarters.

Nate Stranzl, who helped coordinate the massive Kobe mural in DTLA and previously worked at Kobe’s production company, Granity Studios, said the goal was to pay “tribute to the side of Kobe not many people knew about, the side that dedicated his time to storytelling … to honor Kobe as a visionary, not just a player.”

To create the large-scale mural, Branded Arts collaborated with world-renowned artists, 3D muralist Sérgio Odeith and LA artist and activist Nikkolas Smith, who both designed and executed the piece. The pair completed the mural in 10 days — just before the grand reveal on Mamba Day.

The mural is titled “Grana,” a term Kobe coined and used in his production company and books, which represents magic and the capacity for greatness within all of us. Stranzl, who helped create the term at Granity Studios, said, “Grana is a magical substance in Kobe’s world — like the force, an inner potential to be the greatest version of yourself and unlock magical abilities,” but to sum it up — “inner greatness.”

The piece is the largest Kobe mural in the LA area, spanning the total of the building’s south-facing facade, and the only one of the only murals that depict him out of uniform. The mural features Kobe at the center; to his left is a black mamba, alluding to his nickname on the court; and to the right is Gigi along with Gravity-inspired characters.

This composition was a deliberate artistic choice to depict the duality of Kobe Bryant; the left side represents his intensity and drive on the court; and the right his creativity, authorship and dedication to his family.

Robert Davtyan, a West Coast Trial Lawyers representative, stated they wanted to pay homage and “show people who Kobe was, not just as a player but as a person,” and to give something back to the city that helped forge Kobe’s career and legacy.

The mural is just blocks away from Crypto.com Arena, where Kobe played for the Lakers. Now, fans can pay tribute to the Hall of Famer on the way to the place where he changed the game of basketball.

An eponymous short film accompanies the mural, following three young athletes as they discover their own Grana spliced with behind-the-scenes shots of the mural painting process. Adjacent to the mural will be a plaque with a QR code with which viewers can access the film.