Report | Lakers to retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

[UPDATE]: The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly be retiring both of Kobe Bryant’s numbers after all.

The Los Angeles Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey on December 18 before the team’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors, according to TMZ Sports. That initial report was then confirmed by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN on Tuesday morning.

Shelburne added that it was not known whether the Lakers will be retiring No. 8 or No. 24, as Bryant sported both numbers during his illustrious 20-year tenure in Los Angeles. Of course, the Lakers could also retire both numbers.

Last summer, shortly after Bryant retired from the NBA, the future Hall of Famer said that, whichever number Los Angeles decides to hang up in the rafters, it would be difficult for anyone else to wear the other one. But, that’s assuming the Lakers don’t just go ahead and make sure that no one has the option of wearing either No. 8 or No. 24 ever again. Bryant equally split the time between both jersey numbers

He wore the No. 8 for the first 10 years of his career and then donned the No. 24 for the latter 10. Bryant won three of his five championships with the former, three-peating with Shaquille O’Neal from 2000 through 2002. He began wearing the No. 24 during the 2006-07 campaign and proceeded to win two titles afterward, capturing back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

The heralded shooting guard ended his career with averages of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 83.7 percent from the free-throw line. He came to the NBA right out of high school and was originally selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. However, he was then immediately traded to the Lakers like he requested.

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