Kobe Bryant cements Lakers legacy with retired jerseys
Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers career was so unprecedented they retired two of his jerseys on Monday.
The Lakers honoured Bryant by retiring both his number eight jersey and his number 24 jersey, worn during the second half of his career, at the Staples Center.
Bryant played 707 games, averaging 23.1 points per game with the number eight jersey. He also won three NBA titles with his first number.
He then switched to number 24 for 639 games, winning two more NBA titles and averaging 26.3 points per game. He became the first player to have two numbers retired by the same team.
"Before every game I made it a point to glance up there to remind me what I'm playing for," Bryant said regarding the idea of seeing his jersey in the rafters.
"To now be a part of that wall means everything to me. I think legacy is really important."
Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star and 2008 league MVP, was also a nine-time All-Defensive selection.
Surprisingly, he was only a two-time scoring champion, but he was an 11-time All-NBA First Team selection.
Former Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was in attendance Monday, getting the crowd pumped with his DJ skills.
O'Neal and Bryant had their rough moments, but the towering center shared his admiration for his former team-mate.
"We'll be remembered as the most enigmatic, controversial, dominant one-two punch ever created," O'Neal said.