One of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers players of all-time, Kobe Bryant, retired after the 2015-16 season, going out in style as he scored 60 points and led the Lakers to one final comeback victory over the Utah Jazz in his final game.
Bryant had one of the most decorated careers in NBA history as he won five championships in his 20-year tenure with the Lakers and was named to 18 All-Star teams, which ranks second in NBA history, in addition to 15 All-NBA teams.
After Bryant retired it wasn’t a matter of if the Lakers were going to retire his jersey, but rather when as a full season has gone by and neither Bryant’s No. 8 jersey nor his No. 24 are hanging in the rafters at Staples Center.
It appears that question is finally being answered as according to TMZ Bryant’s jersey retirement ceremony is set to take place this season on Dec. 18 when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors:
Christmas is coming early for Kobe Bryant — the Lakers are planning to retire his jersey before the Warriors game on Dec. 18 … multiple sources tell TMZ Sports.
The Lakers aren’t officially acknowledging it — but the team sent a letter to Lakers season ticket holders advising them to “hold on to your tickets for the game on Dec. 18” for a “special event.”
We’ve made some calls and everyone’s saying the same thing … it’s Kobe’s big night.
Now the only question that remains is if they will retire No. 8, 24 or both, although it will likely be both as no player has worn either number since him and he had so many monumental moments with both numbers.
Bryant will become the 10th player in Lakers franchise history to have their jersey retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West and Jamaal Wilkes. The last to do it was O’Neal when he was honored in 2013.