Over the last few days, a handful of players across the NBA have submitted their requests to the league to have their jersey numbers changed after Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. Bryant famously wore two number during his 20-year career with the Lakers, eight and 24.
Additionally, Dallas Mavericks team governor Mark Cuban has said no player will ever wear the No. 24 again, and there’s a good chance more teams will do the same.
However, there is one another number that’s being retired — No. 2, the number that Bryant’s daughter Gianna wore. Gianna was one of the nine people killed in the helicopter crash on Sunday.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lakers guard Quinn Cook will no longer wear the No. 2 on his back out of respect for Gianna. Cook wore the No. 2 in high school and college, and he’s worn it this season with the Lakers.
It’s a touching tribute from Cook, who hasn’t been shy about the fact that he grew up loving Bryant and the Lakers since signing his two-year, $6 million with the team last summer. Cook even called Bryant his “hero” in an emotional Instagram post he posted on Monday.
View this post on Instagram
my hero man. I’m completely crushed. I haven’t cried this much or been in this much pain since I lost my dad in 2008. Yesterday I lost my hero, my idol, & the main reason my love for this game is where it is today. Can’t really process this but we all are devastated and heartbroken about what happened to my hero Kobe & his beautiful daughter Gianna. You taught us all so much on and off the court. Anyone who knows me knows what Kobe means to me and to the entire world. We need to give all of our energy and prayers to the Bryant family and all the families involved in the tragic event yesterday. I will never get over this, I don’t know what’s going to happen going forward but one thing I know is that Kobe and Gianna are up there in heaven TOGETHER smiling down on us all. You were the greatest I’ve ever seen on the court but you were an even better Father to all four of your daughters man. Wow Bean I’m really writing this right now . I will cherish our relationship and everything you told me forever. We are already missing you Kobe and Gigi ! RiP DAD!
Cook paid his respects to Kobe and Gianna alongside the thousands of Lakers fans outside of Staples Center on Sunday, when the team returned from their week-long Grammy road trip. Cook went to Kobe’s memorial with a blue throwback Lakers jersey in his hand, which had Bryant’s No. 8 on the back.
The Lakers will speak publicly for the first time sine Bryant’s death after practice on Wednesday. Stay tuned for updates.