Photo: China has a Kobe Bryant statue

The Kobe Bryant statue at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China.
(Edie Robles)

Two athletic icons whose posters have graced many a bedroom wall recently became more permanent fixtures on opposite ends of the world.

A sculpture of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee by a Guangzhou, China, artist was unveiled Saturday in Los Angeles. And on Monday photos of a statue of Lakers star Kobe Bryant in that same Chinese province popped up on Twitter.

The statue of Kobe in Lakers uniform, standing with a basketball under his arm, appears to be outside the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts’ Sculpture Museum, according to tweets.

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Kobe has become a favorite in hoops-loving China, holding clinics, appearing in commercials, meeting fans and, during the 2011 NBA lockout, there was even talk of the star joining the Chinese league.

A sculpture of former Laker Shaquille O’Neal towers over a Beijing park, so perhaps it was only a matter of time for a Kobe cast to appear?

Closer to home, the 7-foot bronze cast of Bruce Lee was unveiled in Chinatown’s Central Plaza. The reveal marks Chinatown’s 75th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the martial artist’s death.

Lee, who was raised in Hong Kong, starred in TV’s “The Green Hornet” and a series of action films shot in Los Angeles before his death in 1973 at age 32.


The sculpture is awaiting $150,000 to fund a more permanent pedestal.

KOBEHASASTATUENOW IN CHINA @EricPincus @MarkG_Medina @Mark_T_Willard @SerenaWinters @ramonashelburne @ArashMarkazi— Eddie Robles (@eds824) June 17, 2013


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