Legendary point guard Magic Johnson was quoted as part of the formal announcement that the Los Angeles Lakers would be retiring both of Bryant's jersey numbers (No. 8 and No. 24), and he gave the recently retired swingman a huge compliment.
The 39-year old, 18-time NBA All-Star retired at the end of the 2015-16 season, wrapping up an illustrious 20-year career - all of which were spent with the Los Angeles Lakers because the Charlotte Hornets traded him on draft night. After it was revealed the Kobe's jerseys would be retired on December 18th, tickets for the game against Golden State skyrocketed from $125 to $650 just to get the cheapest seat in the Staples Center. An 18-time All Star and third on the National Basketball Association all-time scoring list, Bryant's remarkable career on the court is one that will be remembered for a long time. The Lakers are in a rebuild, as they move away from the Bryant era, one of the greatest stretches in franchise history.
Even in retirement, Bryant continues to sell tickets for the team and drive up prices for fans begging to witness "Black Mamba" history one more time.
"Kobe's jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time", Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said.
"As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them", Bryant said in a statement.
Last year, Bryant was asked his thoughts on what the team should do.