The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Tuesday they will retire both the No. 8 and the No. 24 jerseys to honor Kobe Bryant this season. The Black Mamba will become the first ever player in NBA hystory to have two jerseys' numbers retired, after his retirement in 2016. Kobe commented the news:

As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them. The Lakers have bestowed a huge honor on me and I'm grateful for the fans' enthusiasm around this game.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and TMZ's sports, the ceremony will be on Dec. 18, before the game against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers aren't officially acknowledging it, but the team sent a letter to Lakers's season ticket holders advising them to "hold on to your tickets for the game " for a "special event." The cheapest ticket is currently $795, so good luck getting into that.

Los Angeles Lakers to retire both 8 and 24 jerseys for Kobe Bryant This is a first: the Black Mamba will be the first player ever to have TWO numbers retired  | Image 0

Kobe began in No. 8, in which he went on to help the team to three NBA Finals victories in a row starting in the 1999-2000 season. Starting in the 2006-07 season, Bryant began to wear No. 24 — the first number he wore in high school. In this jersey, Bryant went on to lead the team to back-to-back NBA Finals victories in 2009 and 2010, racking up Finals MVP awards both times.

 

Bryant appeared in 707 games while wearing No. 8. During that time, he averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists. After making the switch to No. 24, Bryant played in 639 games, averaging 26.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. The 16-time NBA champion Lakers have only retired the numbers of Hall of Fame players: Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Shaquille O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52). O’Neal’s jersey was the most recent to be hung on the wall in 2013. Bryant is eligible to enter the Hall of Fame in 2021, but the Lakers decided not to wait for that formality to enshrine Kobe in their own exclusive club.

In the meantime, Kobe did not change his habits:

Done at 6am #chinatimezone #4amclub #monstermamba

Un post condiviso da Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) in data: