Bulls’ Zach LaVine explains how he’s honoring Kobe Bryant’s legacy by keeping No. 8
Unlike a few other NBA players, Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine has chosen to keep wearing No. 8, something he considers a way to honor the memory of the late Kobe Bryant, who famously wore the number during the first half of his NBA career.
LaVine explained his reasoning during an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio in which Kobe Bryant’s legacy was discussed:
“For my generation, [Kobe Bryant] was our Michael Jordan,” said LaVine. “Obviously, we all watched Michael Jordan. I watched him on VCRs and stuff like that. But our generation, we could wake up and watch Kobe. You I remember where I was watching some of his games. I was at the game where he hit 12 3-pointers against the Sonics. He was the reason why I partly wear No. 8. Why would I want to change that just because he’s gone now? You want to keep that memory alive.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) February 13, 2020
This is certainly a different approach from what we’ve seen from other players like Spencer Dinwiddie, Quinn Cook, and others who donned either of Kobe Bryant’s numbers — 8 or 24.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about honoring Kobe Bryant, so long as it’s done out of respect. The Dallas Mavericks chose to retire Kobe’s number soon after his death was confirmed, a classy gesture, but not necessary by all means.
Retiring the number for any franchise besides the Lakers could also set a dangerous precedent, considering many other legends will pass, either through illness, old age or simply by inexplicable reasons. To hold Kobe Bryant above those or say his impact was greater than others could be a slippery slope for the NBA — hence why they’ve let players make their own decisions as to how to cope and how to honor his memory.