Kobe Bryant. PHOTO/FACEBOOK
BBC–The LA Lakers are to retire both of five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant’s number eight and 24 jerseys.
Bryant, 39, retired in April 2016 after a 20-year career with the Lakers, scoring 60 points in his final game.
He finished as the Lakers’ all-time point scorer and third on the NBA’s all-time list with 33,643 points.
“I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them,” said Bryant, who made his debut in 1996.
The jerseys will be retired at a half-time ceremony on 18 December when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors.
Bryant is the 10th player to receive the honour, after Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West and Jamaal Wilkes.
“Kobe’s jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time,” said Lakers chief executive Jeanie Buss.
Bryant wore 24 while playing at high school, before switching to 33.
When he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Lakers in 1996, he could not take the number 33 as it had already been retired for Abdul-Jabbar and 24 was already taken.
He decided on number eight and won three NBA titles, before changing to 24 for the 2006-07 season, going on to win a further two titles.
Bryant said at the time he made the change as he wanted a new number for the second half of his career.
|Kobe Bryant stats|
|Five-time NBA champion|
|Third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list|
|18-time an All-Star, 11 times first-team All-NBA|
|Tops Lakers’ all-time points, three-pointers, steals and games played|
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