Kobe Bryant is arguably the Los Angeles Lakers greatest player in franchise history, being considered on the same level as Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. And now, like those aforementioned legends of the game, Kobe’s jersey will be retired by the organization he spent 20 years of his life with.
According to a TMZ report, The Los Angeles Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey prior to a December 18 home game against the Golden State Warriors.
Apparently the team had sent out an email to Lakers season ticket holders, telling them to “hold on to your tickets for the game on Dec. 18” for a “special event.”
It’s extremely rare for a player’s jersey to be retired this early after they leave the game, as Kobe’s last game was back in 2016, where he dropped 60 points in a comeback win against the Utah Jazz in one of the most iconic and memorable moments in NBA history.
One question remains though — which number will the Lakers retire? Bryant wore both the No. 8 and No. 24 for L.A. during his career and was equally as impressive in both jerseys. The Lakers even honored this by painting both the numbers ‘8’ and ’24’ on the court during his final game. Even though it has never happened before, it’s not outside the realms of possibility that the Lakers end up retiring both 8 and 24, as it’d feel wrong to see a new player wear either of those numbers.