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’ Anthony Davis Out with Rib Injury
Davis injured his rib during Tuesday’s victory over the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix.
Davis is reportedly also dealing with a right shoulder injury, which makes it more important for the Lakers to play it safe, especially this early in the season.
Lakers’ Frank Vogel Says Team Has Not Ruled Out DeMarcus Cousins Return
When it comes to big man DeMarcus Cousins, the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t ready to close the book on him playing during the 2019-2020 season.
Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel discussed the team holding out hope that Cousins could take the court sometime this season.
“We’ve not closed the door on that,” Vogel said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We’ll just — we’re going to be a wait and see. With these injuries that are long rehabs, you have to see and take it kind of month to month and see where he’s at. But we’ve not closed the door on a possible return for him.”
The Lakers turned to signing Dwight Howard in the wake of Cousins’ injury, and were granted a disabled player exception as Cousins was initially believed to likely be unavailable until June 15th, 2020.
Now, it appears the Lakers are expecting Cousins to make back to the courts sometime, perhaps during a playoff run, this season.
Lakers’ Dwight Howard Talks About ‘Bad Teammate’ Label
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is going on the defensive when addressing long-standing labels of him being a bad teammate, and a locker room cancer.
Howard, who inked a deal to return for a second stint with the Lakers, recently appeared on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” to talk about narrative.
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