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Lakers to retire Kobe Bryant's numbers in December

Lakers to retire Kobe Bryant's numbers in December

Bryant wore No. 8 from the start of his career through the 2005-06 season, after which he switched to No. 24, which was what he originally wore in high school.

TMZ reported early Tuesday morning that the Lakers had informed season-ticket holders to "hold on to tickets" for the December 18 game against Golden State for a "special event". The most recent player to have his number retired was Shaquille O'Neal, who won three titles with Bryant from 2000-02 and saw his No. 34 go up at Staples Center in 2013. He was also named as the Most Valuable Player during the 2007-2008 National Basketball Association season. The Lakers are in a rebuild, as they move away from the Bryant era, one of the greatest stretches in franchise history. Bryant also challenged Washington Wizards point guard, John Wall, to make the NBA First Team All-Defense.

Kobe Bryant averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks throughout his career.

"Kobe's jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time", Lakers chief executive and controlling owner Jeanie Buss said.

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As special as Bryant's career was, the Lakers might retire both.

"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", Bryant said in a statement.

If he can once again have a solid season for the revamped Lakers roster, he will be able to set himself up for a possible contract extension as soon as next year. "It alone daily inspires all of us to strive for greatness".