Kobe Bryant’s career has officially been immortalized. The legendary Los Angeles Laker retired both of his numbers, 8 and 24, at the Staples Center on Monday night. It’s the first time an NBA player has had two numbers retired by a team.
The ceremony occurred during halftime of the Golden State Warriors vs. LA Lakers game. The crowd was packed with NBA legends, from Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, and Allen Iverson.
Kobe, who spent 20 years as a Laker, winning five NBA titles and one MVP award in the process, was introduced by Johnson, who called Kobe the “greatest to ever wear the purple and gold.”
Here are some highlights from the moment:
Before the ceremony, Kobe held a press conference about his big night. Here’s what he said:
“It is hard to put into words…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. Legacy is really important in the sense of what we have done is awesome, but what is more important for a legacy is how that affects the next generation. For the jerseys up there now, the impact it had on me which led us to this moment now is the true [indication of a legacy].”
Kobe also chose which number he preferred, 8 or 24:
His answer was great:
During the day, Kobe was celeberated throughout social media. It was espeically heartening to see some of his peers honor the all time great:
How long before Kobe gets that statue in front of Staples Center?
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