Ever since the news broke on last Sunday of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his 13 year-old daughter GiGi and seven other people, fans, friends, players and basically anyone you can imagine have been trying to find a way to honor them.
A few players, including Terrance Ross and Spencer Dinwiddie have announced that they will be switching their jersey numbers. Both players wore number 8, which was Bryant’s original number when he was drafted into the NBA
Some players want to continue to wear 8 or 24 to honor Bryant as well, citing him as the reason they wear the number to begin with. The Dallas Mavericks have said that nobody will wear 24 for them again.
This has sparked some debate on what will and won’t be appropriate ways to honor Bryant, who is one of the greatest players in NBA history.
I think it should be up to everyone’s discretion. If you wear 24 or 8 to honor Kobe, continue to do so. If you don’t want to wear either of those as a tribute to Kobe, do it. I wore 23 growing up because of Michael Jordan, and I think people will always continue to do so with Jordan and LeBron both for a long time.
As far as retiring the numbers league wide, I don’t think it’s necessary. They are retired in LA, where he played all 20 years of his Hall of Fame career. That’s home. That said, I WOULD really like it if every team in the league hung a Bryant Jersey in the rafters.
You don’t have to necessarily retire the number, but because Kobe was such an important player and ambassador to both men’s and women’s basketball, I would love it if they would hang his jersey in every arena, league wide.