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NBA Franchise Retires No. 24 To Honor Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys already hang in the rafters of Staples Center as the Los Angeles Lakers retired the icon’s jerseys shortly after his retirement in 2016.

The Dallas Mavericks announced this evening that they are also retiring No. 24.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban released a heartfelt statement in the wake of Bryant’s death on Sunday.

No one will be wearing No. 24 for the Mavericks moving forward.

“Our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.”

Kobe Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have two numbers — No. 8 and No. 24 — retired on his behalf by the same team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 41-year-old, widely believed to be one of the greatest basketball players the sport has ever seen, died on Sunday in a helicopter accident in California.

His 13-year-old daughter Giana was also among the nine people who lost their lives when the Sikorsky S-76 crashed in the Calabasas hills and exploded into flames, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

An 18-time NBA All-Star, Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and cementing his place as the third-leading scorer in NBA history.

He retired in 2016 and his jerseys were sent into the rafters at Staples Center in December 2017 during the halftime ceremony of a Lakers-Warriors game.

Within hours of Bryant’s death on Sunday morning, both rafter jerseys had been moved, placed side by side and floodlit.

Bryant, whose love of the game dates back to his youth, began his basketball career wearing first No. 24 and then No. 33 in high school.


When he was traded to the Lakers in 1996, neither of those numbers was an option: George McCloud donned No. 24 and No. 33 had been retired in recognition of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

So, Bryant picked No. 8, which he wore for the first half of his career —that choice was a tipping of the hat to the number he wore while he lived in Italy as well as 143, from the Adidas ABCD Camp, ESPN reported.

The three digits add up to eight.

“When I first came in at 8, is really trying to ‘plant your flag’ sort of thing,” Bryant told ESPN.

“I got to prove that I belong here in this league. I’ve got to prove that I’m one of the best in this league. You’re going after them. It’s nonstop energy and aggressiveness and stuff.”

Being able to “start completely fresh” and “focus on the number” was a meaningful experience, he added.

Bryant switched to N0. 24 in time for his 2006–2007 season with the Lakers — that was his jersey number at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

As No. 24, he was more mature, he told ESPN, but wasn’t in the same physical condition as he’d been as Nov. 8.

The theme of the second chapter of his career was “growth,” including marriage and children.

“It’s a new book, 24 — 24 is every day. Because when you get older, your muscles start getting sore. Body starts aching. You show up to practice that day, you have to remind yourself, ‘OK, this day is the most important day. I got to push through this soreness. My ankles are tight, they won’t get loose. I got to go through it, because this is the most important day.’ So, 24 also helped me from a motivational standpoint,” he added.

READ: NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna Dead In Helicopter Crash In California

Source: Spun
NBA Franchise Retires No. 24 To Honor Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant NBA Franchise Retires No. 24 To Honor Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant Reviewed by Yen The Explorer on January 27, 2020 Rating: 5

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