As we methodically put together our all-time Top 50 of every team from the big four of American sports, the next goal will be to look at how each franchise honors their past players. As such it is significant news to us that this evening the Los Angeles Lakers will be retiring both the #8 and #24 of Kobe Bryant, which will mark the first time in a major North American sport where two numbers were retired in honor of one player.
This is perfectly fitting, as Bryant’s performance wearing both numbers is more than good enough to warrant retirement.
In what is now considered a lopsided trade. The Charlotte Hornets traded their 1996 13th overall pick (Bryant) for Vlade Divac. Bryant took #8 and before long he was multi-time All Star and along with Shaquille O’Neal would be part of three NBA Titles. Following the split between Shaq & Kobe, Bryant looked for a fresh start in the 2006-07 season, and he adopted #24, the same number he wore in Prep.
The overall results were pretty much the same as Bryant would again go to many All Star Games and would again win the NBA Title twice, though as #24 he would also win the Scoring Title twice. Actually, the results were scarily similar. Bryant scored only 89 more Points as #8 and 10 less Assists and regardless of what number he wore, he was regarded as one of the best.
Out of respect, the Golden State Warriors stayed out for the ceremony.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Kobe Bryant on this latest honor and we will see him soon as a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.