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8 or 24? That’s for the Black Mamba to decide.
Lakers president Magic Johnson said during an ESPN Radio appearance on Tuesday that it was Bryant’s decision as to which number he chose to represent himself with.
“Him and Jeanie Buss will sit down and make a decision on which one he wants to retire,” Magic said, according to Ryan Ward of Clutch Points.
Bryant wore No. 8 when he first entered the league two decades ago, then switched to No. 24 without a reason in 2006. He won three titles alongside Shaquille O’Neal in the No. 8, then won another two rings as the undisputed leader in his later years as No. 24.
Given all of Bryant’s accomplishments, there’s been a heavy push online for the Lakers to retire both numbers. But based on Magic’s answer, it looks as if Bryant will have to settle for his favorite one.
His preference, as reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register in 2013, is to be remembered as No. 24.