Machado chooses No. 8 with Dodgers because of Kobe, 'new beginnings'
Geoff Burke / USA TODAY Sports

When Manny Machado takes the field for the first time with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, he'll be wearing No. 8 - a number the seven-season veteran has never worn professionally.

When asked why he chose the new number, the shortstop told Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA it symbolizes "new beginnings" and displays his love and admiration for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Machado previously wore No. 13 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Max Muncy, who wears No. 13 with the Dodgers, told Rizzo he was never approached by Machado about giving up his number.

Bryant wore No. 8 when he broke into the NBA in 1996 until the beginning of the 2006-07 season, when he switched to No. 24. Bryant spent a decade wearing each number, and the Lakers retired both in December 2017.

Going deeper into the symbolism, Rizzo found that No. 8 signifies resurrection and regeneration in the Bible:

Somewhat ironically, Bryant doesn't own a stake in the Dodgers, but Magic Johnson, another Lakers legend, does while acting as one of six members of the Guggenheim Baseball Management group. The group paid $2 billion to acquire the Los Angeles franchise in 2012.

Machado chooses No. 8 with Dodgers because of Kobe, 'new beginnings'
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