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NBA's Lakers retire two numbers for Kobe Bryant

NBA's Lakers retire two numbers for Kobe Bryant

"It's about embodying the spirit that exists in those jerseys up there and carrying this organization forward, so that the next 20 years is better than the past 20 years", Bryant said. That's the dream. It's not the destination, it's the journey.

As you all know, Kobe had both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired by the Lakers at halftime in their game against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, and in usual Kobe fashion, Los Angeles was buzzing in excitement for the ceremony.

"I hope you recorded every game, and I hope you're doing the same tonight", Johnson told the crowd, "because there will never be another Kobe Bryant".

Buss cleverly explained the reasoning behind the Lakers' decision to hang two jersey numbers for Bryant: "If you separated each of the accomplishments under those numbers, each of those players would qualify for the Hall of Fame". Growing up and watching all these great players play and learning so much from them, to now be a part of that wall means everything to me. The No. 8 Bryant won three National Basketball Association titles, and the No. 24 Bryant won two more before retiring in 2016 with a stunning 60-point performance in his farewell game against Utah.

He wore No. 24 for 10 seasons, compiling 10 All-Star nods, 16,777 points and two National Basketball Association championships that both came with Finals MVP honors.

Bryant even scored nearly the same number of points in No. 8 (16,777) as he did in No. 24 (16,866). For the players that are here now, it's just to focus on the micro stuff. If 24 is playing 8 after he tore his shoulder, that's a problem for 8. I think 24 was more challenging, and I tend to gravitate to things that are harder to do, and physically for me, it was really hard to get up night in and night out. Bryant isn't eligible until 2021, but the Lakers decided not to wait for that formality - and for Kobe, they doubled up the honor. "One of the first things I did when I walked into the Forum, it was dimly lit, and I looked up to see the jerseys". "Can you imagine a future Laker trying to put on one of those jerseys?"

"The man sacrificed everything to be as good as he was, to have the career he had", Walton said. "It wouldn't feel right".

These kicks are probably best known for being Kobe's last signature shoe line during his active career as a basketball player. "His mentality was kill or be killed", Anthony said.

Meanwhile, Brandon Ingram took away a strong personal message from Bryant's jerseys retirement speech and overall career. Dozens of Bryant's former teammates showed up, including Shaquille O'Neal and Derek Fisher, along with the Lakers' usual cavalcade of celebrity fans. O'Neal, who teamed with Bryant to win three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002 before being traded to the Heat, hailed Bryant's supreme self-confidence and said that their love-hate pairing "was fun while it lasted".

"If they do a statue, you don't have to see the number anyway", Bryant joked.

"If 8 is playing 24 after he just ruptured his Achilles, then it's a problem for 24", Bryant said.