When the Lakers retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey, will they send the No. 8 jersey he wore at the start of his career into the rafters at Staples Center or the No. 24 jersey he wore later in his career? Or will they even possibly consider retiring both?
It’s still unclear which route they’ll go, but it seems the team has a date in mind with regards to Kobe’s jersey retirement. According to TMZ Sports, the Lakers sent a letter to their season-ticket holders recently and told them to "hold on to your tickets for the game on Dec. 18," which is the night the Lakers play against the Warriors at home. The team also promised a "special event" on that date for all fans in attendance at the game.
It's unclear what the "special event" will entail, but TMZ Sports is reporting that several sources have told them it will be the night the Lakers will retire Kobe’s jersey.
If the Lakers are, in fact, planning a jersey retirement ceremony for Kobe, it would obviously not come as a huge shock. Kobe spent 20 years playing for the Lakers and helped the team win five championship rings during his time in Los Angeles. He retired at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season. But he continues to maintain close ties with the Lakers, and while he has pretty much ruled out the idea of ever coaching for the team, he has let Lakers players know that his door is always open if anyone needs his advice.
Assuming Kobe’s jersey is retired soon, he will become the 10th Lakers player in franchise history to have his jersey number (or numbers?) honored. He would join a list that includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, James Worthy, and Shaquille O’Neal.