Those heading to the Chase Center to see the Golden State Warriors or any other event will now be greeted by a statue honoring the late Mayor Ed Lee.
Lee was the first Asian American mayor of a major city, according to LA Times.
CBS Bay Area reported the Warriors unveiled the statue on what would have been Lee’s 70th birthday, May 5. Lee died in December 2017 while still in office.
The bronze statue sits on the steps of Thrive City’s Gatehouse, which faces Chase Center. The statue features Lee smiling while holding a basketball.
Chase Center and the Warriors wanted to honor Lee for his vision and leadership in the construction of the new arena.
The proposal for the arena was announced in May 2012 and opened in September 2019.
The construction of the arena was Lee’s self-described legacy project during his time as mayor. The Chase Center is along the city’s storied waterfront, according to NBC Bay Area.
“Some of my earliest memories include going to Warriors games with my dad,” said Tania Lee, Lee’s daughter during the unveiling. “He had such a love for basketball and this team. Our family is incredibly honored that the Warriors have chosen to memorialize him with this beautiful sculpture here at Chase Center.”
LA Times said Lee was the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco after he was elected in 2011. Before his tenure, he was a civil rights attorney.
Lee was re-elected in 2015 and served as mayor until his death. He was 65 when he died from a heart attack.
“Mayor Lee loved the Warriors and what they meant to our city more than just about anyone I know,” said Mayor London Breed during the unveiling. “He led with compassion and humility and had the vision to know how important it was to build Chase Center. With the completion of this statue, his legacy will forever live on at Chase Center and with our beloved team.”
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