According to TMZ Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers plan to officially retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey number on December 18th prior to their game against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in LA.
Although it hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by the Lakers, the organization did say in a letter to season-ticket holders that the game on December 18th will feature a “special event.”
Bryant retired at the conclusion of the 2015–16 season after a 20-year career dedicated entirely to the Lakers. He currently holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career.
Now 39 years old, Bryant has had an extremely lucrative career. He was named an All-Star on 18 different occasions, won five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards, and was named the regular-season MVP in 2007–08.
Bryant donned jersey No. 8 during his rookie year in 1996–97 and wore it through 2005–06, but switched to No. 24 for the remainder of his career. Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Lakers will retire both No. 8 and No. 24 on December 18th.
Bryant will be joining an elite and legendary group of players to have their jersey retired by the franchise, including Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and others.