Few, if any, in sports history both embodied and embraced the mythology surrounding them quite like five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant did.
When the superstar basketball player tore his Achilles tendon, he reportedly became obsessed with the story of Achilles from the Trojan War. Bryant, a legendary warrior in his own right and in his daily mentality, was certainly mythological in each and every sense in his accomplishments during his time on this Earth.
Numerology, the belief that numbers have an almost supernatural impact on life, often plays a large role in myth. It is one of the reasons why teams retire certain numbers for their best players; the Lakers chose to retire Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 in December 2017.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said that no one on his team will ever wear his numbers again.
With the sudden and tragic loss of Bryant earlier this week, some believe that the numbers should get similar treatment to what Jackie Robinson (No. 42) has in the MLB and what Wayne Gretzky (No. 99) has in the NHL with a league-wide mandate.
While no such decree has become official, several players in the NBA have taken matters into their own hands. Below are each of those to have made such a decision, which helps illustrate just how wide-spread his impact on the game was. We will continue to update this post as more news will become available.