Kobe Bryant was identical to the number 8 jersey when he started his career at the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he later changed the number to the 24th jersey. What is it?
Grief is now engulfing the NBA after Bryant died in a helicopter crash, Monday (27/1/2020) early morning WIB. The accident was reported by TMZ in Calabasas, California.
The helicopter carrying the 41-year-old man reportedly fell and caught fire on the way to Mamba Academy. Apart from Kobe, four other people also died in the accident, including the child of the La Lakers legend, Gianna Maria Onore (13 years old).
No one expected Kobe to leave so quickly when he was enjoying his retirement since 2016. Kobe is the biggest star in the NBA after Michael Jordan and anything that concerns him is always newsworthy.
One of them is related to his decision to change his jersey number in the 2006/2007 season from 8 to 24. Even though Kobe was so attached to the number 8 when he started his career with the Lakers.
With the number 8 on his back, Kobe scored a total of 16,777 points and won three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. He also made eight NBA All-Star appearances.
The number 8 was used because when he first entered the Lakers in 1996, the number 24 he had used since starting his high school career had already been worn by George McCloud.
At first, Kobe wanted to wear the number 33 which he also wore in high school, but that number was also retired in honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Therefore, Kobe had to wait ten years before finally being able to wear the number 24.
“When I first came and wore the number 8, it meant I was trying to find myself. I have to prove myself that I deserve to be in this league. I have to prove that I am one of the best. You have to chase that. Non-stop and aggressive,” said Kobe about the number 8 he used.
“Then from there I was able to get number 24. Physical attributes are no longer important, because I am getting older. Married, have children. Starting to have a wider perspective because I am one of the senior players in this team, as opposed to the younger players. Everything changes,” he continued.
During wearing the number 24, Kobe did not lose his magic for bringing the Lakers to two championships in 2009 and 2010 as well as two MVP Finals and appearing 10 times in the All-Star.
As for the points, Kobe was more productive with 16,866 points and made him into the list of the top three top scorers of all time in the NBA, before being shifted by LeBron James yesterday.