Bryant says he never imaged both of his iconic jerseys hanging in the rafters at Staples Center.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 12, 2017
The Black Mamba becomes the 10th Laker to have his jersey retired, and the first player in NBA history to have two of them bestowed such an honor.
From the team website:
“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,” said Bryant. “The Lakers have bestowed a huge honor on me and I’m grateful for the fans’ enthusiasm around this game.”
Bryant will become the 10th player in Los Angeles Lakers history to earn this distinction, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Earvin “Magic” Johnson (32), KareemAbdul- Jabbar (33), Shaquille O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).
“Kobe’s jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time,” said Lakers CEO and Controlling Owner Jeanie Buss. “There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant.”
“This honor is very well deserved,” said Lakers President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all-time and he’s definitely on my Mount Rushmore. I look forward to seeing BOTH of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family.”