Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie could be part of a growing trend to unofficially retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers.
The profound impact Kobe Bryant had on the game of basketball needs no introduction. He touched the lives of many: fans, media personalities, and players alike.
It was well-documented how close Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was with Bryant, but he wasn’t the only member of the team who had a relationship with Bryant. Spencer Dinwiddie, a Los Angeles native, grew up idolizing Bryant.
To pay respects to the man he looked up to, Dinwiddie has decided to change his jersey number from No. 8 to 26.
Sources: Multiple NBA players have begun informally retiring Kobe Bryant’s jersey number(s) as a tribute — with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie among them, changing from No. 8 to No. 26.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 28, 2020
Throughout the first 10 years of Bryant’s career, he donned No. 8 for the purple and gold. The other 10 years of his illustrious 20-year career was spent with No. 24 on the back of his jersey.
As Charania notes, “multiple NBA players” are beginning the transition in “informally” retiring both jersey numbers.
Dinwiddie was relegated to tears Sunday night when discussing his conversation with Bryant just a month prior.
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) January 27, 2020
“I met Kobe several times, exchanged pleasantries and text messages and things. Maybe this is a little bit overexaggerating but I felt like this was the first time he was looking at me as the basketball player Spencer,” Dinwiddie said with deep regret in his voice. “… For him to tell me that in his book I’m an All-Star and stuff like that, we’ve talked about the popularity contest before and you don’t win things like that when you’re me. For him to say that, I didn’t need to be selected anymore because I was an All-Star.”