Kobe Was So Nice, His Jersey Gets Retired Twice

    When both of his Lakers jerseys go into the Staples Center rafters tonight, Kobe Bryant will be the first player in NBA history to have two different numbers retired by the same team.

    Kobe came into the league wearing No. 8, the number he wore as a young kid playing over in Italy. One of his favorite players during his formative years was current Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who was a legend in the Italian League for Olimpia Milano. The number was also significant because the digits from his adidas ABCD Camp jersey, 143, added up to 8.

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    Check out Kobe Bryant’s Top 10 Plays of 2001-2002 NBA Season!! About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league is truly global, with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, as well as rosters that currently feature 85 international players from 36 countries and territories.

    Kobe changed his jersey to No. 24 for the 2006-2007 season. It was the number he wore as a prep phenom at Lower Merion High School outside of Philadelphia.

    Donning the No. 8 as a young pup, he scored a total of 16,777 points, won three NBA championships and was an eight-time All-Star. Wearing No. 24, he scored 16,866 points, went to 10 All-Star Games and won his more two titles.

    His also won a scoring title while wearing each number. So when it came time for the franchise to decide which number would be retired, it made no sense to choose. The dude was so nice, you basically had to retire his number twice.

    Kobe Bryant’s Top 10 Plays of 2002-2003 NBA Season

    Check out Kobe Bryant’s Top 10 Plays of 2002-2003 NBA Season!! About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league is truly global, with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, as well as rosters that currently feature 85 international players from 36 countries and territories.

    And it’s fitting that the Golden State Warriors, who have wrecked the league as of late, will be in town and on the court to witness Kobe’s ceremony. Kevin Durant credits the Laker legend with a sincere tutelage on competitiveness and tenacity during his rookie year with the Seattle SuperSonics. 

    “It was my first taste of fourth-quarter basketball in the NBA. He fouled me all of the way up until I got the ball. It was a blatant foul, and the referee just stared at him, looked at him and didn’t call the foul,” Durant said. “It was a level I knew I had to get to. That’s what made me realize that there’s certain players on different levels, and that you have to wait to get to that point.”

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    Durant went on to achieve greatness and among his many accomplishments, one in which he’s most proud is vanquishing Kobe’s Lakers in the 2012 playoffs.

    “That was a proud moment, playing so well, and finally beating his team in the playoffs,” Durant said. “A couple of years before, they eliminated us in the first round. So, I can say that I won in one-on-one against Kobe in the playoffs. Not too many people can say that. But he does have five championships.”

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    “He raised everybody’s — opponents, coaching staff, just everybody’s — level of play,” said Durant. “That’s what great players do. You can learn a lot from watching somebody like that.”