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’ LeBron James Talks Preseason Debut
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James made his debut with his new team after signing with the Lakers this summer, and although he only played 15 minutes, he had enough time to soak in his new situation.
“I played a little bit more than expected actually and I felt pretty good,” James said of his debut.
“It was great to get back on the floor, start a new journey for myself. Hear the Lakers fans we have here in San Diego was a great feeling to go out there and hear the roar from the fans here, so very much appreciated.”
James received a huge ovation from Laker fans as he was announced in the starting lineup, and poured in 9 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
“It always feels different for me anytime you change uniforms,” James said. “Felt different when I changed from St. Vincent-St. Mary’s jersey to a Cavs jersey from a Cavs jersey to a Heat jersey back to a Cavs jersey and now being a Laker.”
“It definitely feels different. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get used to” James continued.
James also shared his impressions of teammate Brandon Ingram.
“I find rhythm with anybody that is very energetic offensively, and that’s a guy who moves without the ball, and my first assist was to him,” James said. “They just move it on the weak side, and I was able to deliver a pass to him.”
Sixers, Lakers Interested In Jamal Crawford
The Golden State Warriors are also interested in Crawford, but if Patrick McCaw re-signs, there won’t be an available roster space.
Crawford, 38, reportedly isn’t close to making a decision on which team he wants to play for next season, but has stated in the past that he would like to play for the 76ers.
Byron Scott Says Lakers Fans Need to Stop Hating On LeBron James
Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach, and player, Byron Scott had some advice for Lakers fans who can’t stop hating on their newest player, superstar forward LeBron James, who was signed to a lucrative deal this offseason, telling them to stop the hate.
“I bleed purple and gold – that’s my heart,” Scott said, during an interview with The Score’s Christopher Carson. “I’ve been with that organization for so many years. Magic Johnson is a close friend of mine and I was so excited for him and Jeanie Buss. I was extremely excited for them to get the best player in basketball to come to Los Angeles. Obviously, it has given a lot of energy to Los Angeles.”
“A lot of people are excited and you got some people that are haters,” Scott continued. “That’s everywhere you go and LeBron has dealt with that his entire career. But I tell the people of Los Angeles that if you want to win, wouldn’t you want the best player in the league on your team? Don’t hate on LeBron James. Congratulate this man that he went there and chose that organization for probably his last stop.”
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