The Los Angeles Lakers honored Kobe Bryant during halftime of Monday night's game against the Warriors, retiring both his no. 8 and no. 24 jerseys to the rafters of the Staples Center in an emotional ceremony. Following the introductions, Bryant's jerseys were revealed, one on each side of former Lakers announcer Chick Hearn's in the rafters of Staples Center.
What Bryant taught Walton, more than anything else, was to not give up on a game.
"I gotta roll. I gotta get the baby home", Bryant said as he exited the arena, according to Bleacher Report. But the elements of the Lakers' young core continued their audition on Monday in a 116-114 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors, punctuated by a tiebreaking Kevin Durant jumper with less than seven seconds remaining. Maybe Bryant knew something after four quarters the other Lakers fans in the building didn't. "It feels good as a father to have my family come in and share this".
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". "It's about the jerseys that were hanging up there before". Bryant-sporting a beard, wearing a dark suit, dark tie and white shirt, and joined by his wife and three daughters-was welcomed to the court by Lakers president Magic Johnson, GM Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss. Bryant is the third-leading scorer in league history. I got a gift for you for your last game.' And she proceeded to show me the row of retired jerseys from Baylor, from Magic, from Shaq, from Cap, all with personal messages signed to me, including from Michael Jordan, including from the great Bill Russell, including from the great Larry Byrd. Is he one of the ten best National Basketball Association players in history?
"He's everything in this city", said Lakers coach Luke Walton, Bryant's teammate on the last two title teams.
The Lakers celebrated by closing down the street outside Staples Center and staging a street fair dubbed "Kobeland", complete with a Ferris wheel and many other games and attractions. That's why the franchise still finds itself stuck trying to move on from Bryant more than four years since he last was an effective National Basketball Association star, when he hobbled off the court after tearing his Achilles on April 12, 2013. Among them was the revelation by former Lakers coach Del Harris in an article for The New York Times where Harris revealed that the Lakers almost traded for Tracy McGrady on draft night in 1997.
Bryant switched jersey numbers halfway through his career, neatly dividing the eras of his 20 years with the Lakers. Upon his 2016 retirement, there was debate as to whether the Lakers would retire No. 8, No. 24 or both. If 24 is playing 8 after he tore his shoulder, that's a problem for 8. "I think what a legacy means to me is how will it impact the next generation". "It was really a grind".