Six Years Ago Today, The Lakers Retired Kobe Bryant’s #8 and #24 Jerseys
Six years ago today, the Los Angeles Lakers retired both of Kobe Bryant’s numbers during a halftime ceremony. He became the first player in history, to have two different numbers retired by the same team. But then again, he might have been two different people after all.
For a long time, Bryant was one of the most hated players in all of American sports. His success was extraordinary, his achievements prolific. Fans seemed to despise the “Black Mamba” because of his killer instinct and ability to torch every team he faced.
But after his final season—full of memories, throwback performances, and a retirement tour—people gained a certain level of respect and even love for Bryant. They say you only realize how great or valuable something or someone was until it’s gone. Kobe Bryant devoted 20 years of his life to the Los Angeles Lakers and would surely have loved to re-live them. He even won five championships in the process.
On April 13, 2016, Kobe Bryant drained his 37-year old body for the millions of fans watching the final performance of his iconic career.
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among the nine people on board the helicopter that crashed and left no survivors in Calabasas, California.