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.
Magic Johnson Says Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka Betrayed Him
Johnson, appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Monday, pointed the finger of blame at Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, who he said betrayed him during his tenure, and took to task during his appearance on the show.
Lakers, Tyronn Lue End Talks
The Los Angeles Lakers and Tyronn Lue have ended their talks about bringing Lue on as the next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin.
Per reports, Lue and his representatives turned down the Lakers’ offer on Tuesday, which is believed to have been a 3-year deal worth $18 million, prompting Lue to pull out of negotiations.
Lue was reportedly seeking a five-year deal with a salary commensurate with a championship resume.
Additionally, the Lakers had proposed a number of scenarios involving their preferred selections for assistant coaches, including former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, who has been tied to the Lakers organization in recent months.
Additionally, Lue was part of Lakers championships in 2000 and 2001.
Lakers adviser Kurt Rambis and general manager Rob Pelinka had interviewed Kidd for the head-coaching position, and from those discussions they became convinced that Kidd should be a key member of a Lue coaching staff.
Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers’ President Of Basketball Ops
Johnson held an impromptu press conference to make the announcement and indicated that he did not inform Lakers owner Jeanie Buss prior to publicly announcing his departure.
“Somebody’s going to have to tell my boss, because I knew I couldn’t be face-to-face and tell her,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that he “had more fun” when he was able to mentor other players and was able to be “the big brother and the ambassador” as opposed to the primary decision maker.
Johnson had been the subject of reports that labeled him an “absentee executive” and he never fully committed to the job and had limited office hours during his tenure.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, on top of that, Johnson was traveling and away from the team often, and wasn’t very active in the scouting area.
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