PETITION: The NBA Should Retire Both of Kobe Bryant’s Jersey Numbers League-Wide, and they Should Do it Today
Yesterday, the world stood still as news of Kobe Bryant’s death spread.
The 41-year-old sports icon was killed in a helicopter crash on the morning of January 26, 2020. Other victims in the crash included Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six other passengers and one pilot. The passengers included some of Kobe’s daughter’s teammates, as well as their parents.
In sports, one of the greatest honors an athlete can receive is the retirement of their number; it is a symbolic gesture of the grandest scale. A statement that says “this player was so generational and out-of-this-world that they have earned the right to that number for all eternity”. In response to the tragic events that transpired yesterday, we feel that the NBA’s response should include the league wide retirement of jersey numbers 8 and 24–the two numbers that Kobe Bryant wore in his career–effective immediately.
The Dallas Mavericks have already began to lead the way in this area, announcing the retirement of #24 in Bryant’s honor shortly after news of the event came to light. Current Utah Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale are also pioneers of this idea, tweeting that both numbers should be retired league-wide.
Kobe Bryant will no longer be here to remind us of how great he was and his importance to the history of sports and basketball. We feel that, from now on, every single person who attends an NBA game in person should look up in the rafters and see banners with Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers hanging up.
So, we are asking the NBA and league commissioner Adam Silver: please retire both of Kobe’s numbers–today.
Please click HERE to sign our change.org petition to convince the NBA to retire both of Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers league-wide in his honor.