IFWT_Kobe 8 24

Kobe Bryant will retire at the end of this season as one of the greatest players in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise.  It is inevitable that they will eventually retire a number(s) in his honor.  The large debate has been whether the Lakers will retire ‘8’ or ’24’; Kobe has had amazing almost separate careers wearing both numbers so the Lakers might just retire both.

“I don’t know the answer. Obviously it’s going to be 8, 24 or it could be both,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak at a season ticket holder event Sunday.

Bryant played the first half of his career with No. 8, winning three championships. He wore 24 for the Lakers’ most recent two titles.

He arrived at the No. 8 by adding the digits from his ABCD Camp number, 1234. After having worn No. 8 for 10 NBA seasons, Kobe stated that the first part of his career was over, and he was beginning the second part with the No. 24, which initially wasn’t available when Bryant signed with the Lakers.  Kobe Bryant wore the No. 8 from the 1996-1997 season.  He switched to No. 24 for the 2006-2007 season.

Where does Kupchak place Bryant among the greatest Lakers of all time, a list that includes Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain?

“The fact that [Bryant] put together 20 years, to me, separates [him] from the pack,” said Kupchak.

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source: LA Times