On December 18, the Los Angeles Lakers will do something that everyone saw coming.
Retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey.
TMZ initially reported the news on Tuesday night after the Lakers sent out a letter to season-ticket holders regarding the December 18 game against the Golden State Warriors, stating the club not want to on-sell their tickets as there would be a “special event” that night.
It was later revealed both of Bryant’s jerseys – 8 and 24 – would be retired by the storied franchise.
Bryant becomes just the sixth player to have two numbers retired in the NBA after Julius Erving, Pete Maravich, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal and Oscar Robertson.
While there was never any doubt surrounding his jersey being retired, there was some debate about which of his numbers – if not both – would hang in the Staples Centre rafters.
In the No.8 jersey from 1996-2006, Kobe averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists while winning three NBA titles and being selected to eight All-Star games.
From 2006-2016 in the No.24, Bryant averaged 26.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and five assists per game on his way to two NBA titles and 10 All-Star appearances. He also won his lone league MVP award in the double-digit jersey.
There was more than a case for both, although it appears as though the Lakers have made the right decision.
Bryant retired after the 2015-16 season after spending all of his 20 years in the league with the purple and gold franchise.