Kobe Bryant has created countless memories for fans of the Los Angeles Lakers over the course of what will be a 20-year career. Bryant has worn two jersey numbers over that time, 8 and 24, bringing a unique playing style to each.
There was the energetic and boundless athleticism of number eight, contrasted with the more controlled and exacting technical perfection of number twenty-four. Even with the contrasting memories of how he played in each jersey, Bryant undoubtedly excelled in both.
So on the inevitable day when Bryant's jersey hangs from the Staples Center rafters
to be covered up by pictures of the Clippers with names like Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neal; among others, which number will the Lakers choose?
"I don't know the answer. Obviously it's going to be 8, 24 or it could be both," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told season ticket holders at an event on Sunday morning, as captured by Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times.
Retiring both numbers is an interesting thought, and it makes sense given that if #8 Kobe and #24 Kobe were two separate players they would both likely have their jerseys raised to the rafters. However, before the team decides which of Bryant's jerseys to immortalize, he will have to finish using his current one first.