In addition to immortalizing Kobe Bryant by retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys during a halftime ceremony on Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers are further honoring the franchise legend by hosting ‘Kobeland’ outside Staples Center prior to tipoff against the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers held something similar when Shaquille O’Neal’s statue was unveiled last season, hosting ‘Shaqtown.’ The street festival for Bryant is also taking place on Chick Hearn Court at L.A. Live, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m PT.
It’s open to the public (all ages) and admission is free. The festival will feature interactive games, a Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, basketball shootout and photo opportunities. Nike will have a truck onsite to sell specially-designed merchandise that honors Bryant’s time spent wearing No. 8 and No. 24.
Bryant is becoming the 10th player to have his jersey retired by the Lakers, but the first to put two numbers in the rafters.
Bryant wore No. 8 for the first 10 years of his career, then spent 10 seasons in No. 24. He won three championships while wearing the single-digit jersey, and another two after making the change. Bryant’s only MVP Award came as No. 24.
If forced to choose, the five-time champion recently stated he would have retired No. 24, simply because it was the number he last wore. It was a sentiment former teammate Derek Fisher also expressed.
Spectrum SportsNet will begin their coverage of the pregame festivities at 5:30 p.m. PT., then air the game live, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
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