TMZ announced late Monday night that the Los Angeles Lakers are planning to retire the jersey of Kobe Bryant on Dec. 18 when they host the Golden State Warriors.
With Bryant it wasn’t a matter of if they would retire his number, but instead when as he is perhaps the greatest player to ever wear the purple and gold, winning five championships in his 20 seasons.
Another question that arose though is which jersey number the Lakers will retire, as Bryant had some many iconic moments wearing both the No. 8 and 24.
It didn’t take long for that question to be answered as according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN it appears they will be retiring both jerseys:
Update. BOTH of Kobe's numbers will be retired.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 12, 2017
Bryant played 707 games wearing No. 8, averaging 23.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists while winning three championships. He also was named to eight All-Star games and won two scoring titles with that number.
He played fewer games in the No. 24, but his statistics were slightly better as in 638 games he averaged 26.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He won two more championships while being named to 10 All-Star games in addition to winning two more scoring titles with 24 on his back. He also won his only two Finals MVPs and his one regular season MVP in that number.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers hang up two separate jerseys on Dec. 18 or if they somehow combine both numbers into one jersey but one thing that is for sure is that Bryant deserved to have both retired.
Bryant will become the 10th player in Lakers franchise history to have their jersey retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West and Jamaal Wilkes.