With all the attention Kobe is receiving this season due to his upcoming retirement, it’s about time we gave some thought to which one of his jerseys will be hanging up in the Staples Center next year.
Two different decades, two different Kobe’s. It’s no doubt that Bryant has manipulated his game as he continues to get older, however, it really hasn’t been for the better or worse.
If we look closely and compare No. 8 to No. 24, there’s really only a few slight differences:
|No. 8 Kobe||No. 24 Kobe|
|707 Games Played||314 Games Played|
|35.69 Mins per game||38.62 Mins per game|
|.4515 FG%||.467 FG%|
|.336 Three-Point FG%||.348 Three-Point FG%|
|.834 FT%||.845 FT%|
|5.14 Rebounds per game||5.66 Rebounds per game|
|4.45 Assists per game||5.15 Assists per game|
|1.5 Steals per game||1.58 Steals per game|
|0.62 Blocks per game||0.42 Blocks per game|
|2.87 Turnovers per game||3.04 Turnovers per game|
|23.86 Points per game||28.42 Points per game|
Also as No. 8, Kobe put 3 Championships under his belt. As No. 24, he only won 2.
So when looking at the two side by side, it can be obvious how much of a dilemma this may become for the Lakers. Either of these players could easily be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on their own. Kobe could conceivably be the first player in any professional sport to have two numbers retired for himself, and that is most likely what the organization will do.
Kyle Hirshkind is the managing editor for Full Press Coverage's New York Jets channel. Originally from Long Island, New York, Kyle has been an avid Jets fan for 20+ years.