- Pac-12 video preview: California Golden Bears at Washington Huskies
- Lakers sign center Robert Upshaw
- Raiders’ Charles Woodson, Derek Carr day-to-day with injuries
- Philip Rivers, Carlos Hyde earn NFL players of the week honors
- Golden State Warriors pursuing Steve Nash, per report
- Video preview: Utah State Aggies at Washington Huskies
- Seattle Seahawks top Las Vegas sportsbook as Super Bowl favorites
- Lions vs. Chargers: Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon dealing with nerves, excitement
- Richard Sherman: Tom Brady, Patriots didn’t cheat
- Pac-12 preview: Oregon Ducks at Michigan State Spartans
Kobe Bryant right to retire Lakers’ No. 24 vs. No. 8
- Updated: April 7, 2013
There’s no question that Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant will go down as the greatest player in team history when he retires.
The only question with respect to his eventual separation from the game he loves is which number jersey he will have hanging above the rafters at Staples Center. Fortunately, Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register answered that question when he reported that Bryant will have No. 24 immortalized when he decides to hang up his sneakers vice the No. 8 he wore to begin his career.
It’s the right move, because NBA fans have seen a more mature, poised Bryant since his MVP season , even though his skills and killer instinct have gone virtually undiminished for 17 years. Take, for example, the 2012-13 season. Bryant is averaging 27.2 points per game in 74 games, his highest total since the 2006-07 season. He’s doing so efficiently, shooting at a near-career-high 46.4 percent from the field.
In short, he’s living up to the “Vino” moniker he garnered this season and getting better with age. That in itself is remarkable considering the physical toll NBA basketball takes on one’s body. He talks about it all the time, yet he’s adding a virtual exclamation point to a storied career by saving some of his best for last.
That’s why No. 24 is more significant. He has matured and understands the game better than he ever has. He’s smarter, yet still effective skill-wise. That’s a special combination. Though there are many theories about why he changed his number in the first place stemming from potentially one-upping Michael Jordan and LeBron James‘ No. 23 to the number being his first choice in the first place, he’s going to do right by his legacy and enshrine the number that means the most when it comes to the most enriching chapters of his career storybook.
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- Raiders’ Charles Woodson, Derek Carr day-to-day with injuries - September 17, 2015
- Philip Rivers, Carlos Hyde earn NFL players of the week honors - September 17, 2015
- Aldon Smith signs 1-year deal with Raiders, charged with three crimes on same day - September 11, 2015