TMZ was the first to break the news that Kobe Bryant would be having his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers this season. The ceremony was rumored to be taking place on December 18 when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors.
Afterwards, the question became which of Kobe’s jerseys would be hanging in the rafters, no. 8 or 24. That would also be answered as it was reported that both of Kobe’s legendary jerseys would be lifted at Staples Center.
Now the Lakers have made it official as the team confirmed in a press release that Kobe’s jerseys will be retired. Kobe sounded very appreciative of the Lakers raising both jerseys:
“As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them,” said Bryant. “The Lakers have bestowed a huge honor on me and I’m grateful for the fans’ enthusiasm around this game.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss also commented on the announcement:
“Kobe’s jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time,” said Lakers CEO and Controlling Owner Jeanie Buss. “There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant.”
There is no question that Kobe is deserving of this honor as he is arguably the greatest player to ever put on a Lakers jersey and there is no doubt that the fans will pack Staples Center on that night to pay homage to him.
The impact that Kobe had on the franchise will be felt for years to come and now the team will immortalize him forever. The next step after retiring his jersey will be giving him a statue outside of Staples Center.