Kobe Bryant has Both Jerseys Retired by Lakers

Kobe Bryant

It is not unlikely for a player to have multiple numbers during the course of their NBA career. It is, however, rare to have both of them retired by the same team. That's just what happened to Kobe Bryant during Monday night's Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center.

Bryant wore two numbers during his 20-year NBA career, 8 and 24, a career spent entirely with the Lakers organization. It is interesting to note that his number change came almost exactly at the halfway point of his career, splitting up two different eras that were both rife with their own personal and team accomplishments.

He started out his career with the number 8. During that time he won three NBA championships in tandem with star Center, Shaquille O'Neal. On top of those three championship rings, he scored 16,777 points during this era, a number eerily close the to the total of during the second half of his career( 16,866).

He was the true leader of the team during the second half of his career and managed to lead the Lakers to two championship wins and a Western Conference championship. The most notable being a seven-game series win over the team's arch rival, the Boston Celtics. The Lakers win-loss did suffer during his Bryant's final few years with the team as he suffered from shoulder issues and was surrounded by a young and inexperienced supporting cast.

Stars chimed in on the event, both on Twitter and in person, but the star of the night was certainly Bryant himself, who came with his entire family in tow, including his infant daughter, Bella. He noted that the most special thing about the night was his children getting to see him being honored by the team. His daughters were born later in his career and missed most of his heyday in the league.

The Lakers have a long and storied history of success in the NBA and are no strangers to retiring players jerseys. In fact, Bryant is the tenth player in franchise history to have his number retired. The world-class shooting guard joins the likes of legends Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabar in this rarified air. The honor cements his legacy with the organization and further solidifies his importance in the sports and the cultural landscape of the city of Los Angeles.

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