CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — A new mural of Kobe Bryant and his daughter is capturing the attention of Central Square in Cambridge. It seemingly popped up overnight and instantly stopped people in their tracks.
“Graffiti Alley has always been an asset that has a quick response with the passing of someone who is important to the community,” said Michael Monestime of the Central Square Business Improvement District. “When these tragedies happen, people come to memorialize them on the wall. Graffiti has long been a culture of R.I.P murals.”
Central Square BID commissioned the painting after the tragic deaths of Bryant, his daughter, and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday. The artist, who goes by Brandalizm, got to work Monday morning and was finished in about three hours.
As with many graffiti artists, Brandalizm avoids the spotlight, but says the tragedy is, “a reminder that life happens fast, and is too short.”
The mural, which is roughly 15 feet by 15 feet, features the Lakers legend and his daughter along with the numbers they wore on their jerseys. Bryant wore 8 and 24, while his 13-year-old daughter, a rising basketball star, wore number 2.
For fans like Lacie Coburn, the mural hits close to home. The Los Angeles-area native grew up watching Kobe’s dominance on the court and found some comfort seeing memorials dedicated to him around the city she now calls home. “I’m so proud of Boston,” said Coburn. “It kind of just shows the impact that he had on, not just L.A., but everywhere else.”
Another L.A. native living in Boston is Barbra Isaac, who said she started a growing memorial outside TD Garden. “He was a legend in our time. We got to see him play. We’re all connected that way.”
That rings true, even for locals who grew up watching the fierce rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics.
“While we might’ve cursed Kobe on the court,” said Michael Monetime, “off the court, we sort of praised him as a role model.”
If you’d like to see the mural, you may want to do it soon. Graffiti artwork in Modica Way is often here today, gone tomorrow. There’s no way of knowing how long the tribute could be up before another artist comes along and paints over it.