As the NBA mourns the tragic deaths of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi, current players who wear No. 8 and No. 24 — Bryant’s two numbers — are deciding how best to honor him. Some have chosen new jersey numbers, while others are pledging to keep wearing No. 8 or No. 24. The NBA usually requires players give at least a season’s notice before switching uniform numbers by request, but has made an exception to review and approve immediate changes on a case-by-case basis, per the New York Times’ Marc Stein.
Here’s a list of every NBA player who wears No. 8 or No. 24, and how they’ve decided to honor the Bryants.
Changing their number
Spencer Dinwiddie (No. 8), Brooklyn Nets – Dinwiddie has changed his number from 8 to 26, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He told Nets Daily’s Anthony Puccio he chose that number for multiple reasons.
“It’s an obvious choice, I kept coming to that number, but here’s why … They passed on the 26th. Twenty-four and 2 are their numbers; Two plus six is eight. I’m 26 currently. Me and my son were both born in April. He’s the 20th, I’m the 6th. And that’s what was on my mind when I decided the jersey change. Incorporating my son. Because last time it revolved around family as well.”
Quinn Cook (No. 2), Los Angeles Lakers – Cook will change his number from 2 to 28 to honor both Bryant and his daughter, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “No. 2 is Gianna’s number. I feel it should be retired. It’s hers.”
Miye Oni (No. 24), Utah Jazz – Oni is changing his jersey number from 24 to 81 to honor Bryant.
Keeping their number
Khem Birch (No. 24), Orlando Magic – Birch wears No. 24 in honor of one of his friends who died in a car crash. Their favorite player was Bryant.
Norman Powell (No. 24), Toronto Raptors – Powell is likely to continue wearing No. 24 to honor Bryant. “The reason I wear 24 is because of Kobe,” he told The Athletic’s Blake Murphy. So whatever it takes to honor him, one of the greatest ever to do it. If they want to retire 24 I’ll find a new number.”
Rui Hachimura (No. 8), Washington Wizards – Hachimura will continue wearing the No. 8 to honor Bryant. According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, “8” translates to Hachi, and he wore he number in high school.
To be determined
Kemba Walker shares he’s thinking of retiring No. 8 in honor of Kobe but he also sees how he can also honor him by keeping the number pic.twitter.com/CC408lm2ZN
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 29, 2020
“I’m considering [changing] it. But I’m not sure yet. I definitely have tons of respect for Kobe. But everybody mourns a little bit different. For me, I’m thinking I’d love to honor him by wearing that number. Kobe played hard each and every night. And I would like to honor him by doing the same. I’m definitely thinking about it. But we’ll see.”
Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 8), Denver Nuggets – Has not spoken on the matter.
Buddy Hield (No. 24), Sacramento Kings – Has not spoken on the matter.
Garrison Mathews (No. 24), Washington Wizards – Has not spoken on the matter.