September 13, 2017 6:00 am
Updated: September 13, 2017 10:59 pm

Rick Zamperin: Retiring Kobe Bryant’s jersey was a slam dunk, but came with a question

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant gestures during the first half of Bryant's last NBA basketball game, against the Utah Jazz, on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

It is a fitting tribute, perhaps too fitting, for one of the best NBA players of his generation.

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced they will retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey. Pardon the pun, but that was a slam dunk.

Kobe spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, and helped L.A. win five championships.

So there was no question as to whether the club would retire his jersey.

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The issue is, Bryant wore two numbers during his career, No. 8 and No. 24. Which one should never be worn ever again by a Lakers player?

The answer is both.

Yes, the Lakers will retire both numbers when they honour Bryant on December 18, when L.A. hosts the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

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Bryant broke into the league as a talented teenager who sported the No. 8, and won three titles.  He then switched to No. 24 in 2006 and led the Lakers to two more NBA crowns.

You can see the dilemma.

But for a player who, let’s face it, hogged the ball during his career, it’s appropriate that he has two numbers — not one — on his retired jersey.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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