According to Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers will retire both of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys. The Lakers are going with the plan and retiring jersey Nos. 8 and 24. Bryant becomes the first player to have two jerseys retired by the same team. There’s a reason why they will retire both jerseys: Bryant is an all-time legend. If he’s not an all-time legend in your book, he is certainly one of the greatest players to play in a Lakers uniform.
Kobe ended his Laker career in Kobe fashion, scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz in 2016.
Who will ever question Kobe’s career? Who will ever question whether Kobe should be in the hall of fame or get his jersey retired?
His career numbers are 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Kobe went to seven NBA finals and won five. Bryant stayed loyal to the Lakers; he started his career in Los Angeles and he ended his career in LA without changing teams. Bryant wasn’t only known for his offense; he played impeccable defense in his career. Bryant made a total of 12 all-defensive teams in his career, more than any other guard in the NBA, according to ESPN. Bryant was a two-time scoring champion, third in career scoring, 18-time All-Star, and won two Olympic gold medals.
Earlier this afternoon, there were several questions about which jersey the Lakers should retire, No. 8 or No. 24. However, Kobe did an excellent job with both numbers. Bryant won three titles wearing No. 8, and he won two titles and an MVP award playing with No. 24.
Remembering Kobe Bryant
A lot of people question Kobe’s career because of his inefficient shooting, but he made clutch shots during key moments. For example, Kobe tied the game in regulation and won it in OT against the Phoenix Suns.
Another example, when he made a fadeaway three-pointer in double OT to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in 2004.
Bryant had a historical moment against the Toronto Raptors, where he scored 81 points while Jalen Rose was the primary defender throughout the game. Those 81 points will always be a highlight of Bryant’s career.
From going scoreless in his NBA debut to having a 50-point game streak in 2007, 65 points against the Blazers, 50 points vs the Minnesota Timberwolves, 60 points vs the Memphis Grizzlies, and 50 points vs the Charlotte Hornets. How amazing is that?
Remember when Kobe made that buzzer-beater against the Miami Heat? With 3.2 seconds left, seven-game winning streak on the line, while Dwyane Wade is playing exceptional defense, Kobe banked in a three to win the game.
8 vs 24
Jersey 24: Bryant averaged 26.2 points per game and scored 16,717 points in 638 games. Kobe led the league in field goal attempts six times in his career; five came in from jersey 24, with 29.3 points per game in the playoffs and two scoring titles. (Stats per Complex)
Jersey 8: Kobe averaged 23.7 points per game and scored a total of 16,866 points in 707 games. Kobe averaged 22.9 points per game in the playoffs and won two scoring titles. (Stats per Complex)
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]