The Los Angeles Lakers will have a jersey retirement tribute night to Kobe Bryant on December 18 against the Golden State Warriors.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne confirmed the news, though she added she does not yet know whether or not the team will select No. 8 or No. 24 as the one that hangs in Staples Center.
Here is what the original report speculated when posted this morning (via TMZ Sports):
“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. The big question … which number will go up in Staples Center — #8 or #24 … or both? (Our money’s on both).”
TMZ was not alone in believing both numbers will be honored. Yahoo’s Michael Lee also wondered whether or not there will be two jerseys retired in Los Angeles.
If the franchise does retire both No. 8 and No. 24, it would be unprecedented to see two different acknowledgments to the same player in the rafters.
Last year, Bryant was asked his thoughts on what the team should do. He said that whatever decision is made, it will be hard to imagine anyone else wearing the other number.
While it may make sense for it to be an unwritten rule among players and the team to not wear whatever jersey number is not chosen, it seems unlikely for Los Angeles to have two different tributes to Bryant.
Tickets for the game are currently selling for at least $795 on StubHub.