It’s been over seven years since Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA (April 13, 2016), but the Laker legend’s impact will forever stay in the game, especially when the numbers 8 and 24 are together.

Both of Bryant’s iconic jerseys hang from the rafters at Arena as we celebrate what would’ve been his 45th birthday on August 23 and Mamba Day on August.

20 Years of Kobe Fun Facts

5-time NBA champion
2-time Finals MVP
2007-08 NBA MVP
2-time NBA scoring champion
2-time Olympic Gold medalist
18-time NBA All-Star (3rd all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James)
4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP (T-most all-time – Bob Pettit)
1997 Slam Dunk Contest winner
33,643 career points (4th all-time behind LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone)
15-time All-NBA selection (T-2nd most all-time)
12-time All-Defensive selection (T-2nd most all-time)
9-time 1st team All-Defensive selection (T-most all-time – Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett)
122 career 40-point games (3rd-most all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan)
25 career 50-point games (3rd-most all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan)
6 career 60-point games (2nd-most all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain)

Kobe Bryant: Best Laker Ever?

Some of the greatest players in NBA history have worn the Lakers jersey. Generational superstars like Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Jerry West, and other Hall-of-Famers like Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, James Worthy and Jamaal Wilkes.

However, Bryant might top them all, in part because he wore the purple and gold for 20 seasons, the 2nd-most seasons with one team in NBA history, only behind Dirk Nowitzki’s 21 with the Mavericks.

Kobe is the Lakers all-time leader in games played, points, field goals, 3-pointers, free throws and steals, and ranks 2nd in assists to Magic Johnson.

A little numerology: 8 or 24?

Bryant played the first 10 years of his career wearing No. 8, and the last 10 years wearing No. 24. Even though the last three years of his career were derailed by multiple injuries, the resemblance of his total production in each jersey is striking.

When the Redeem Team beat Spain in the Gold Medal game back in the 2008 Olympics, it was Aug. 24, 2008. Yup, that is 08/24/08. Bryant’s two jersey numbers while wearing the purple and gold jersey for 20 years. Oh, by the way, he had 20 points in that Gold Medal game.  More on this during Shemon and Sheppard 2-6pm.

Here are 10 great Kobe Bryant moments.  Enjoy the memories!

  • 10) Passing Michael Jordan for 3rd place on the all-time scoring list (Dec. 14, 2014)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court after the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw during the second quarter. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 100-94. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    Bryant passed Jordan for 3rd-most points in NBA history with a pair of free throws in the 2nd quarter against the Timberwolves. He entered the night needing 9 points to surpass Jordan, and was presented the game ball after the free throw. Current Laker LeBron James surpassed Bryant in points a day before his accident.


  • 9) Two free throws with a torn Achilles (April 12, 2013)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers appears to injure himself against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at Staples Center on April 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 118-116. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    After a furious rally following the All-Star break to get the Lakers into the playoffs (20-8 record after the break) and with three games left in the regular season, Kobe suffered a torn left Achilles with a little over 3 minutes left in the game and the Lakers down by 2 against the Warriors. Bryant walked to the bench and back to the free throw line, and knocked down both free throws before exiting the game. He averaged over 45 minutes per game in the last seven games he played, including this one

  • 8) 61 points at Madison Square Garden (Feb. 2, 2009)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against Chris Duhon #1 of the New York Knicks on February 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

    Kobe erupted for 61 points against the Knicks in what at the time was the most points ever scored at the iconic MSG. Carmelo Anthony would score 62 points as a member of the Knicks in 2014 to surpass that record, but Bryant’s outburst still stands at the top of the list for opponents at MSG (tied with James Harden).

  • 7) Four consecutive 50-point games (March 16-23, 2007)


    In March 2007, Kobe joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to score at least 50 points in four straight games. The streak started at home against the Blazers (65), then against the Timberwolves (50), then at the Grizzlies (60) and wrapped it up in New Orleans (50) to complete one of the most dominant weeks in recent history.

  • 6) 2009 NBA Finals vs Magic (June 14, 2009)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks to the media after the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers won 99-86. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    After reaching the NBA Finals but losing to the Boston Celtics in 2008, Kobe and the Lakers made it all the way back to that stage to face the Magic led by Dwight Howard in 2009. Bryant set the tone from the start, scoring 40 points in Game 1 and averaging 32.4 points and 7.4 assists en route to winning his first title since 2002, first NBA Finals MVP award, and first ring without Shaquille O’Neal, something that had become a personal challenge for him since the Lakers parted ways with Shaq in 2004.

  • 5) Alley-Oop to Shaq vs Trail Blazers (June 4, 2000)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks for an open man during Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on June 4, 2000 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 98-94. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

    In one of the most improbable playoff comebacks in recent NBA history, the Lakers found themselves down by 13 to the Trail Blazers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. With an NBA Finals berth on the line, they held Portland to just 13 points in the 4th quarter and scored 31 of their own. That game will always be remembered for the iconic alley-oop from Kobe to Shaq to give the Lakers a six-point lead with 41 seconds left, on their way to capturing their first of three straight titles.

  • 4) 62 points in 3 quarters vs Mavericks (Dec. 20, 2005)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #32 of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a jump shot in the third quarter of the game against the Dallas Mavericks on December 20, 2005 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Bryant scored a personal best of 62 points during the game. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

    62-61 after 3. That wasn’t actually the game score (it was 95-61), but it was the Kobe-vs-Mavericks score after 36 minutes. Bryant put on a clinic shooting 18-for-31 (58%) from the field and 22-for-25 (88%) from the free throw line on his way to outscoring the Mavs by himself through three quarters. That was Kobe’s first career 60-point game, and with the Lakers up by 34, head coach Phil Jackson decided not to play him in the 4th quarter. Kobe would surpass that total a month later…

  • 3) 2010 NBA Finals vs Celtics (June 17, 2010)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    “This is the sweetest one.” Those were Kobe’s words after beating the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. It took the Lakers seven games to do it, and they were down 3-2 after five games. Regardless of what the 2009 championship meant to the franchise, this was about avenging the 2008 Finals, where the Celtics annihilated the Lakers in the Game 6 clincher in Boston by 39 points. This would be Kobe’s 2nd NBA Finals MVP award (28.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.9 APG) and his 5th and final championship.

  • 2) 81 points vs Raptors (Jan. 22, 2006)


    Kobe put up the 2nd-highest scoring output in NBA history on a Sunday night against the Raptors, and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players ever to reach the 80-point mark. Wilt is famous for scoring 100 points in a game in 1962, but some have argued Bryant’s 81 was more impressive because of the arsenal he used to get there as well as the efficiency: 21-for-33 (64%) on two-point FG, 7-for-13 (54%) from three, and 18-for-20 (90%) from the line.
    On top of it all, this scenario was different from the Mavericks game a month earlier (see #4 moment). This time, the Lakers needed every one of those points to come back from a 14-point halftime deficit, and Kobe went on to score 55 in the second half to lead the Lakers to a 122-104 victory.

  • 1) 60 points vs Jazz in last NBA game (April 13, 2016)

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers address the media during the post game news conference after scoring 60 point in his final NBA game at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Nobody saw this coming, probably not even Kobe. He never found his old form after tearing his Achilles in 2013, and his final season was one of the worst statistically of his career. Nonetheless, he still had one more Kobe moment in him. The Lakers had already lost 65 of the 81 games they had played that year, and the national attention was on the Golden State Warriors, who were on the verge of winning their 73rd game of the season and breaking the Bulls record. However, word started spreading that Bryant was putting on a show. Just two nights earlier, he had scored 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting in less than 19 minutes in a 33-point Laker loss to the Thunder. That’s how most of his last season went. But Kobe kept shooting – and making – from everywhere on the court, and his young Lakers teammates kept passing and watching in awe as he turned back the clock and put up a career-high 50 field goal attempts on his way to a 60-point effort and a 10-point come-from-behind win in the last 3 minutes for the Lakers. He now has the record for most points scored in a player’s final game. “Mamba Out.”

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