The Lakers will reportedly retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey in December this year, before the Golden State Warriors game. This is something that is obvious to even the most novice NBA fan. After 5 Championships, 2 NBA Finals MVP awards, NBA MVP, 18 All-star selections, 2 scoring titles, etc. etc. etc., it was a foregone conclusion that the Lakers were going to retire his number. There’s just one problem; for 10 seasons, Kobe wore #8, and for another 10 seasons, Kobe wore #24.
The announcement hasn’t been made yet by the Lakers as to which number they plan on retiring. As you can see by the breakdown above from Sportscenter, his stats in both jerseys are quite incredible, and very similar. This leads me to the only conclusion that can be made: Kobe should be the first person to have two numbers retired with the same team.
Plenty of athletes have had numbers retired by multiple teams. Shaq had his jersey retired by the Lakers and Heat. Oscar Robertson had his number retired by the Sacramento Kings, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Michael Jordan had his number retired by the Chicago Bulls and the… wait. The Miami Heat? WTF? Doing research for this blog, I found out this information. During Jordan’s last season with the Wizards, the Heat retired Jordan’s number for his contributions to the game of basketball. Okay.
This would be the first time that a player has had two numbers retired by the same team, and Kobe is historical enough to be the one that it happens to first. I’ll be leading this charge, making sure that the Lakers hear me loud and clear: RETIRE BOTH NUMBERS!