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Lakers To Retire Kobe Bryant’s Numbers

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in NBA history, a team will not hang just one, but two jerseys in their rafters to honor a player. 

According to TMZ sports, the Los Angeles Lakers will hang superstar Kobe Bryant‘s jersey in the Staples Center on December 18th  before their game against the Golden State Warriors. 

The Lakers will honor Bryant by retiring the numbers eight and 24, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. It’s the first time a player will have two numbers retired by one team. 

Bryant, who was drafted in 1996, wore the number eight up until 2006, when he decided to change to 24, a number he wore until he retired in 2016. 

Bryant reacted to the decision by stating, “I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them.”

During his 20 years as a Laker, Bryant played 1,346 games, averaging 25.0 points throughout his career. He helped captured five championships for the purple and gold, along with two NBA Finals MVP awards, two NBA scoring titles, a regular-season MVP award in 2007, and 18 total All-Star game appearances. 

Bryant will join the likes of NBA legends such as Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, as he will become the 10th player to have his jersey hung up in the Staples Center. 

Even in retirement, the Black Mamba still proves he is still one of the best to ever step on a NBA court. 

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