UTAH JAZZ

Jazzmen Mitchell, O’Neale Call For NBA To Retire Bryant’s Numbers League-Wide

Jan 26, 2020, 5:33 PM | Updated: Jan 27, 2020, 1:16 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale called for the NBA to retire basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers league-wide.

Mitchell and O’Neale shared their feelings on social media after news broke that Bryant had passed away in a helicopter crash on the morning of Sunday, January 26.

During his 20 year NBA career, Bryant wore the No. 8 and No. 24 on his Los Angeles Lakers jerseys.

Bryant retired from basketball after the 2015-16 season.

On December 18, 2017, the Lakers retired both jersey numbers during a halftime ceremony.

“What we’re celebrating tonight is the journey that you took us on for those 20 years,” said Lakers president Jeannie Buss to Bryant. “We are retiring both your numbers, because if you separated each of the accomplishments under those numbers, each of those players would qualify for the Hall of Fame.”

Bryant entered the league in 1996 and wore No. 8 for ten seasons.

“When I first came in at 8, is really trying to ‘plant your flag’ sort of thing,” Bryant told ESPN in 2017. “I got to prove that I belong here in this league. I’ve got to prove that I’m one of the best in this league. You’re going after them. It’s nonstop energy and aggressiveness and stuff.”

Before the 2006-07 season, the Lakers guard changed his jersey number to No. 24.

“Then 24 is a growth from that,” Bryant continued. “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.”

The Jazz organization issued a statement on Sunday afternoon after Bryant’s passing.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn about today’s tragedy involving Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” the Jazz wrote.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban released a statement stating that No. 24 will never be worn by a Mavericks player ever again in tribute to Kobe Bryant.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

2023 NBA All-Star Game...
Ben Anderson

Leak Purportedly Shows New Jazz All-Star Weekend Logos

A leak on Twitter purportedly revealed the three logos that will be used when the Utah Jazz host the NBA All-Star game.
3 days ago
Donovan-Mitchell-Utah-Jazz-Western-Conference-Standings...
Ben Anderson

Where Will Jazz, Timberwolves Finish In The West?

Where will the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves finish in the Western Conference standings next season after their blockbuster trade?
3 days ago
Bill-Russell-Jersey-Retired...
Ben Anderson

NBA To Retire No. 6 Bill Russell Jersey

The NBA will retire the number 6 jersey league-wide to honor the Boston Celtics great Bill Russell after he passed away in July.
3 days ago
Utah-Jazz-Jake-Lindsey-Grand-Canyon...
Ben Anderson

Jake Lindsey Joins Grand Canyon University After Leaving Jazz

Former Utah Jazz scout Jake Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey is taking a job with Grand Canyon University's basketball staff. 
4 days ago
Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...
Ben Anderson

Donovan Mitchell Cheers On Utah Little League World Series Hopefuls

Snow Canyon baseball is on the brink of the Little League World Series and has made a fan out of Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. 
4 days ago
Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz...
Ben Anderson

Report: Jordan Clarkson Will Play For Philippines At World Cup Qualifiers

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will play for the Philippines at the World Cup Qualifiers according to a report from Sportlando. 
5 days ago
Jazzmen Mitchell, O’Neale Call For NBA To Retire Bryant’s Numbers League-Wide