8 or 24? Lakers reportedly unsure of which Kobe number to retire

Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

The Los Angeles Lakers are undecided about which Kobe Bryant number to retire, a team spokesperson told TMZ Sports. Bryant wore the number 8 from his rookie year in 1996 until 2006, when he switched to 24.

"We have had a couple very casual and preliminary conversations internally about this over the past few years," the spokesperson said. "But now that Kobe has officially announced a retirement date, I anticipate we will discuss this more formally in the coming weeks and months."

Bryant announced at the end of the 2005-06 season he would change his number to 24 beginning in 2006-07, saying the first part of his career was over. And it proved prophetic: when he hangs up his sneakers, Bryant will have played an equal 10 seasons with Nos. 8 and 24.

Here's a breakdown of his regular-season numbers and championships with each number, going into Tuesday when Bryant visits his hometown of Philadelphia:

Kobe Bryant G PTS REB AST FG% NBA titles
No. 8 707 23.9 5.1 4.5 45.1 3
No. 24 586 27 5.5 5.2 44.9 2

Additionally, Bryant scored the second-most points in a game in NBA history (81 vs. the Toronto Raptors in 2006) wearing No. 8, and won his lone league MVP award (2007-08) with No. 24.

Kobe himself said in 2013 his preference would be to have 24 retired. It was one of his numbers in high school, but it was unavailable when he first joined the Lakers in 1996. On Tuesday however, he was less committal.

There's also another idea, one that former teammate Rick Fox likes: retire them both.

8 or 24? Lakers reportedly unsure of which Kobe number to retire
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