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.
Lance Stephenson to Play in China
Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Lance Stephenson has inked a one-year, $4 million deal to play in China.
Stephenson averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season for the Lakers.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis Says He is the Best in the World
Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis isn’t short on confidence, and he believes he is the very best in the world.
Although he didn’t win much during his tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans, nor has he ever won a championship, Davis is likely to be in title contention on his new team, the Lakers.
“I’m the best in the world,” Davis proclaimed, according to Alam Abdeldaiem of Sports Illustrated. “I think I do a lot of things that a lot of players can’t do as far as playing a complete game. I can play on the block, play on the perimeter, play defense on both ends, switch 1-5, guard, score the basketball. I want to be the most dominant player in the game, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Davis also considers other players on the same level as himself, including his teammate LeBron James.
“Obviously you have players like Kawhi, KD, LeBron, Steph all of those guys who are the same way. They’re great players, talented players, Hall of Famers, and that’s what makes our game fun. Everyone wants to be the best in the league. Everyone wants to be the most dominant, and that’s when our competitive edge comes out on the floor and makes the game so fun to watch.”
Lakers Reach Out to Patrick Beverley
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner, the Lakers have reached out to the reps for Beverley.
Beverley hits free agency and will draw interest from a number of teams, including his last team, the Clippers.
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