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Lakers Season Countdown: 8 days, Kobe Bryant

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In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

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Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 8 days until the regular season begins, with the kid from Lower Merion High School.

Who wore it the best: Kobe Bryant

(Credit: National Basketball Association, Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. In a trade that was agreed upon before the draft even took place, the Lakers sent Vlade Divac to the Hornets in exchange for the 13th pick. Charlotte was never going to pick Kobe, and only did so because that was who the Lakers wanted. Kobe was the first guard ever drafted out of high school. Kobe choose number 8 because #24 & #33 (his 2 high school numbers) were unavailable at the time. When asked about #8 he stated that it was his Adidas ABCD Camp number (143) added together.

While wearing #8 for the Lakers, Kobe earned All-Rookie second team honors in 1997, All-Star Slam Dunk Champion in 1997, All-Star Game MVP in 2002, Scoring Champion in 2006, 8-time All-Star, 4-time defensive first team, 4-time All-NBA first team & 3-time champion.

Besides helping lead the Lakers to become 3-peat NBA Champions, Kobe also accomplished some amazing feats while wearing #8 as well: posting 9 straight 40 point games & averaging over 40 points for all of February in 2003, clinching the 2004 division title by hitting two impossible buzzer-beaters in the season finale, single handedly outscoring the Mavericks 62-61 in a 2006 meeting, scoring 81 points against the Raptors in 2006 (a feat only bested by Wilt Chamberlain), scoring 45 or more points in 4 straight games (only done by Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor) & averaged 35.4 points for the 2005-06 season (the 5th player in NBA history to do so).

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Kobe Bryant (#8)

10

1997-2006

23.9

5.1

4.5

1.5

0.6

35.7

Who wore it last: Kobe Bryant

See above.

#8 - Who has worn it:

Jim Brewer (1981-1982)

Doug Christie (1994)

Randolph Keys (1995)

Kobe Bryant (1997-2006)