Arguably the best Laker ever. Or even the greatest player of all time? Black Mamba, “Mr. 81“. None other but – Kobe Bryant.
Two numbers never been retired in one ceremony before, but Kobe is for sure an exception. Number 8 and 24 jerseys were raised to the rafters as the Black Mamba was smiling and reminiscing his 20 years in the league.
Though to be completely fair if he had to pick one number to retire, that would be no. 24.
“It’s really, really tough for me,” Bryant said. “I think 24 was more challenging, and I tend to gravitate to things that are harder to do. And physically for me it was really, really hard for me to get up, night-in and night-out, man. It’s a grind. … Thinking on the Boston Celtics. Having a bone fragment in my foot during that series. Having a broken finger. Muscling through that back half of the career. Some of the toughest stretches of basketball ever, man.
“And so, I guess if you force me to pick one, I’d probably go with No. 24 because of that.”
The ceremony started with an emotional video tribute to Bryant.
“Kobe – the greatest to ever wear purple and gold.”
And here’s the great speech by Mamba himself, who thanked everyone who had an impact on his career ,and talked about the future of Lakers, family and working hard.
“It’s not the destination – it’s the journey”
And to remember how great he really was, here are Kobe’s career top 10 plays, enjoy!