The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Kobe Bryant on Monday during a halftime ceremony at Staples Center, with the retirement of his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys. Bryant becomes the 10th player in franchise history to earn the honor, but the first to do so with two numbers.
Leading up to the festivities, the Lakers are further celebrating the franchise legend by hosting ‘Kobeland’ on Chick Hearn Court at L.A. Live, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m PT., prior to tipoff against the Golden State Warriors.
Hall-of-Fame head coach, Phil Jackson, who won five NBA championships with Bryant in Los Angeles, won’t be in attendance but took to Twitter to congratulate the 18-time All-Star ahead of his prestigious honor:
Congratulations Kobe Bryant! Hail Momba, too. Two Jersey’s retired is one way to measure your impact for the Lakers. The GOAT measure is:🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) December 18, 2017
Bryant enjoyed some of his best seasons under the guidance of Jackson, taking home NBA MVP honors in 2008, as well as earning 16 All-Star selections, seven selections to the All-NBA First Team and two NBA Finals MVP Awards to boot.
One of Bryant’s former teammates in Shaquille O’Neal also honored the 39-year-old on social media, in the form of a tribute on Instagram:
During their time together in Los Angeles, Bryant and O’Neal teamed up to form one of the most feared duos in NBA history. That was evident when the pair captured three consecutive NBA Championships from 2000-02 behind a dominating 45-13 postseason record during that span.
Pau Gasol, another former teammate who won multiple championships with Bryant, also shared a heartfelt message on Twitter:
You deserve this one and all the recognitions in the world. Thank you for bringing so much to the sport of basketball #brother!
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 18, 2017
Gasol’s time with the Lakers included several bumps, but he and Bryant developed a strong friendship that both rave about to this day.
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