There are now calls for the Toronto Raptors to retire Kobe Bryant's No. 24 jersey
Sports fans around the world are in mourning following news of Kobe Bryant's sudden death in a helicopter crash yesterday.
News of the 41-year-old basketball icon's passing, who died in the crash alongside his 14-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, has opened up a grieving process that's manifesting in several ways.
Every team that Kobe scored 50 or more on should retire his jersey, now Toronto needs to retire 8 and 24 for what he did to them lol— Ed (@Knuckleman) January 27, 2020
Yesterday, both the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors took a 24-second violation to honour Kobe, who wore a number 24 Lakers jersey from 2007 until his retirement in 2016.
The Dallas Mavericks have now announced that they'll be retiring the number 24 permanently in honour of the Black Mamba, and people are urging teams across the NBA to do the same.
"Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick," said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a statement.
Toronto—who Kobe scored a staggering 81 points again in 2006—is being pushed to follow in the Mavericks' footsteps.
Norman Powell, who currently wears 24 for the Raptors, said yesterday that he would stand by retiring Kobe's number NBA-wide.
"The reason why I wear 24 is because of Kobe. So whatever it takes to honour him, one of the greatest to ever do it," said Powell in a post-game interview on Sunday.
"If they want to retire 24, I'll find a new number. Go to 8, go to something, but find a way to relate back to Kobe somehow, some way."
Some are suggesting the league should retire both of Kobe's numbers.
"The NBA should retire #8 and #24 throughout the league."— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 27, 2020
— @Chris_Broussard on Kobe Bryant’s legacy pic.twitter.com/5ePcBGDWdR
Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia says he too would like to see the Raptors retire the NBA superstar's jersey.
I would like to see #24 retired league wide. Rip #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/hr0LiBUTAv— Nav Bhatia Superfan (@superfan_nav) January 27, 2020
There's no official word yet whether the NBA will go forward with it, though there's no doubt the league will continue to honour Mamba in different ways in the following weeks.
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