Today, Kobe Bryant had both of his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired by the Los Angeles Lakers at halftime of the game against the Golden State Warriors—his legacy immortalized to the rafters of the Staples Center.
In his two decades playing for the Purple and Gold, the "Black Mamba" was the true definition of a fierce competitor, which resulted in five NBA championships (2000–2002, 2009, 2010), one MVP award (2008), 18 All-Star selections, on top of countless accolades in the game.
As such, fans, friends, and even foes paid a heartfelt tribute to the man who essentially bridged the golden age of basketball and the modern era, facing legendary players from Michael Jordan to LeBron James.
Trust the NBA's YouTube channel for the ultimate mixtape
Bleacher Report didn't fail to impress with the sweet graphics
Nike brings back the hilarious LeBron and Kobe puppets
The top Mamba moments were out of bounds and during practice
One of the few bad decisions made by Kobe
The biggest stars share fond memories of the fierce competitor
'Zen Master' with some choice words for his student
The best teammates give the best messages
Count on the next-gen Lakers to make the day more special
The King has spoken
Highlights from the double jersey retirement press conference
Watch the full interview here:
The Mamba even posted a couple of updates himself