California County Declares August 24 As 'Kobe Bryant Day'
The day in August was selected in honor of his two jersey numbers.
August 12, 2020 at 10:17 pm
Update (August 12, 2020): Millions of Americans mourned when NBA icon and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26. Now, a county in California will commemorate his legacy with an official day in his honor.On Tuesday, Orange County officials voted to declare Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day, NBC Los Angeles reports. Orange County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel proposed the date because of his jersey numbers.
The basketball legend wore number 8 early in his career and later switched to 24. Bryant was also born on Aug. 23.
According to CBS Sports, Bryant is the only player in NBA history with two jerseys retired by the same team. Ahead of his retirement, the five-time league champion said his transition to the number 24 was predicated on his growth and maturity — not just as a basketball player, but also as a person.“Twenty-four is a growth from that. Physical attributes aren't there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest. Things evolve,” he said.
Steel said the NBA star was a "treasured member of our community," who "inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up."
Supervisor Don Wagner noted that while Bryant’s life was far from perfect, he overcame challenges and was an example of perseverance.
"Kobe Bryant's life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn,” Wagner told NBC. "Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcome. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges."
Bryant played all 20 of his seasons in the NBA with the Lakers before retiring in 2016, according to USA Today. He was traded on draft night in 1996 from the Charlotte Hornets to the Lakers as the 13th overall pick.
Original (December 19, 2017): For two decades, the incredible Kobe Bryant and his Lakers dominated the western conference with their killer play and unbelievable talent.
That dominance could not be possible without Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba. Last night, his legacy was further cemented in NBA history when the Lakers retired both his No. 8 and 24 jerseys in front of the Laker faithful, his family and his fellow players. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sat next to Bill Russell. Kenley Jansen sat for a moment with owner Buss. Other former Lakers greats, including Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom and Rick Fox, also showed up.
Different animal, same beast. https://t.co/1VEmcfG4Be— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 18, 2017
In the Mamba's first decade in the league, he scored 16,866 points, won three titles and had 11, 50-point games. The second decade was just as spectacular as the first with him winning two titles, earning a league MVP and both finals MVP.
While Kobe's last years were marred by injuries, he was always respected as one of the league's elder statesmen. Kobe hung it up last year, leaving behind a beleaguered Lakers franchise looking for his successor. But it is hard replacing an undisputed legend."For the jerseys up there now, the impact it had on me which led us to this moment now is the true [indication of a legacy].”
Watch the black mamba's full retirement ceremony below: