The legacy that Kobe Bryant left is undeniable. Even three years after his tragic death in a helicopter crash, he is fondly remembered and the court still echoes his ‘Mamba Mentality’. Being one of the best players, he was more often than not compared to legendary Michael Jordan. People often considered Bryant as the ‘Next Michael Jordan’, however, Bryant had a different take.
Furthermore, the discussion about who the greatest player of all time is among them is still very much alive. Even though Bryant himself tried to savagely end the discussion by keeping his idol in second place. Not only this, one of Bryant’s on-court rivals claimed that by changing his jersey number from 8 to 24, Black Mamba was trying to send a message to Jordan and everybody.
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) September 12, 2017
Bryant is the only player from the Los Angeles Lakers in history to retire with two jersey numbers. He won a staggering 3x NBA championships with jersey number 8. Furthermore, Bryant shook the world when he changed his jersey number to 24 before the 2006-07 season. This was also the time when Shaquille O’Neal was traded and Bryant himself was still trying to rebuild his public figure after accusations of se*ual assault.
In an interview, Bryant spoke about his decision to change the jersey number. He cited the reasons behind this as appreciating the moment. The Lakers star emphasized that there are 24 hours in the day, and that is what embodies him as well. It was his eleventh year in the league, and he now wanted to soak everything in.
Kevin Garnett revealed why Kobe Bryant wore the no. 24 jersey
While Kobe Bryant had already spoken about the reason behind choosing the no. 24 jersey, Kevin Garnett had a different take on this. In his appearance on ‘ShowTime Basketball’, Garnett shared his opinion as to how he believes it was shot at Michael Jordan and a sign to everyone. He said, “People don’t even know what the 24 stands for. People don’t even understand that was a sign to everybody that he was a step above 23”.
Furthermore, Garnett revealed how Bryant was trying to send a message to Michael Jordan. The Boston Celtics star stated, “That’s why he went with 24. And that was a shot at Mike, like n—, I’m better than you”. Additionally, he emphasized that Bryant truly stood on this.
Interestingly, in 2007 Bryant also requested a trade from the Lakers and revealed that his first choice was the Chicago Bulls. However, he stated that the reason behind this was that the team was moving in a different direction for rebuilding. It didn’t stop fans from pondering whether Garnett’s take on the jersey change was true or not, and the trade request situation is an intriguing layer.
Nevertheless, Kobe Bryant was legendary with jersey 8 as well as 24. He won a total of 5x NBA Championships over his illustrious 20-year-long career. Out of which, three were with jersey number eight and the remaining two with jersey number twenty-four.