There was no debate about whether the Los Angeles Lakers would retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey.
The only question: Which of the Black Mamba’s jersey numbers would hang in the Staples Center rafters next to the likes of all-time greats Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Jerry West?
Would it be 8 or 24?
Lakers: Make that 8 and 24!
“As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters,” Bryant said. “But I certainly never imagined two of them.”
Now Bryant knows how excited the rest of us get when we find a BOGO coupon for our favorite restaurant.
The Lakers will honor Bryant in December when the NBA champion Golden State Warriors are in town. Presumably, there will only be one ceremony, but you never know.
“Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said. “And once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant.”
To show they don’t belong among that envious crowd of foes, the Utah Jazz should consider raising a banner for the legendary 8+24.
Jonas Jerebko will sport No. 8 for the Jazz, so it wouldn’t be fair to yank that number away from a Boston guy who chose Utah. All things considered, that feat alone might merit a jersey retirement.
Let’s be honest, if the Millers put No. 24 high up in Vivint Arena, the name on the banner should be Millsap, Boone or Withey, not Bryant.
Utah should also avoid No. 60. The memory of Kobe’s grand finale is still too painful for many Jazz fans.
When it comes to retired banners, Jazz management has shown a willingness to be creative with numbers, objects and accomplishments. (See: Jerry Sloan’s 1223, Hot Rod Hundley’s microphone and the derided Garth Brooks Most Tickets Sold memento.)
With that in mind, let’s…