Los Angeles Lakers legend and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant will become the first player in NBA history to have two different numbers retired by the same team when his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys are raised to the rafters on Monday night.
Bryant’s original #8 came from Adidas ABCD Camp, 143, whose digits add up to the number 8, which is also the number he wore in Italy, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
Bryant switched to No. 24 in the 2006-07 season, which is the number he had in high school at Lower Merion.
“When I first came in at 8, is really trying to ‘plant your flag’ sort of thing,” Bryant said.
“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.”
“Then 24 is a growth from that,” Bryant continued.
“Physical attributes aren’t there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest. Things evolve.”
The Lakers are retiring both numbers to honor the legendary career of Bryant, who will go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Lakers’ Assistant Jesse Mermuys Says Michael Beasley One of the Best ISO Scorers
The Los Angeles Lakers certainly seem pleased with the signing of forward Michael Beasley, particularly assistant coach Jesse Mermuys who says that Beasley is one of the best isolation scorers in the league.
“Michael Beasley is one of the hardest guys to guard in the NBA,” Mermuys said, according to NBA.com’s Mike Trudell. “That’s just fact. He’s one of the best 1-on-1 players in the league. With his size and his scoring ability, he’s tough. Having a guy like that on your roster is always beneficial. You always need a bucket getter.”
Mermuys believes that Beasley’s talents will be a tremendous addition to the team.
“There are times guys just don’t have it going, there’s fatigue, there’s travel, there are schedule games that are a monster, there are back to backs,” the coach added. “There are so many things in the NBA where having a bucket getter is really valuable, so having Michael Beasley on your roster is a nice asset.”
Lakers’ Michael Beasley Vows Team Will Come Together
The newest free agent addition to the Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Beasley, says that doesn’t like the idea of people judging them on their personas or reputations, believing that the team will come together.
“I think it is going to come together like a basketball team,” Beasley said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “You got  guys other than LeBron James that know how to play basketball, and I think you got 29 teams that [are] overlooking the fact that they know how to play basketball.”
It’s been a busy offseason for the Lakers who added James, Beasley, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee.
“For there to even be a narrative of the personalities in this room is judgment enough for me, and I don’t want to be a part of that,” Beasley said.
“You being a critic doing your job, [if] everybody do their job and stop judging a lot of players — me mainly — you will figure out that guys like me, Nick Young, JR Smith and Lance Stephenson and guys like that know how to play basketball and win basketball games, know how to get along with others. It is nothing to do with my maturity.”
Beasley, who is coming off a bounce back season with the New York Knicks, where he posted 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds last season, plans to fit in by just being himself.
“Just be myself,” Beasley said. “I come in here and try to help the young guys and put the ball in the basket.”
“Use my abilities, don’t be shy about being myself.”
Rajon Rondo Discusses Decision To Sign With Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo says that winning a championship is more important than a starting gig, and his decision to sign with the Lakers this offseason.
“They have plans, obviously, me being here” Rondo said, according to The Athletic’s Bill Oram.
“Along with other guys they’ve (brought) in, along with this great young core that we have. So, I’m not so much caught up in the starting and things like that. I’m just caught up in winning the championship.”
Rondo will be battling with Lonzo Ball for the starting role.
“I’m excited to get a player that age and try to help him as much as I can,” Rondo said of Ball. “As far as understanding the game and getting his game up to speed as far as at a high level. Especially with the amount of pressure now that the organization has on him.”
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