By Chineze Ogugua
Los Angeles Lakers have retired the jerseys of their legend Kobe Bryant in a ceremony after he ended his 20-year career in April 2016 as an 18-time All-Star. The ceremony took place at half-time of their match against NBA champions Golden State Warriors.
Bryant won five NBA titles with the Lakers, three titles wearing the number 8 jersey and two in the number 24. He played 10 seasons each with the two numbers.
Former Laker Michael Johnson who was present at the ceremony and is also the head of the Lakers basketball operations, hailed the 39-year-old as the greatest to play in a Lakers jersey.
“We’re here to celebrate the greatest to ever wear the purple and gold. He made us rub our eyes and wonder ‘what did we just see’. There will never, ever be another Kobe Bryant,” he said.
Bryant is the 10th player to receive the honour of having his jerseys retired, after Johnson himself, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West and Jamaal Wilkes.
During his time at the Los Angeles based club, he won NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008, was a two-time NBA Finals MVP and also a two-time NBA scoring champion. He also won two Olympic gold medals with the US basketball national team.
He finished as the Lakers’ all-time point scorer and third on the NBA’s all-time list with 33,643 points and became the oldest player in NBA history to score 60 points in his final game.
What a LEGEND!
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