DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 02: Spencer Dinwiddie #8 of the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center on January 02, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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.

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.

“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.”

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