Daniel Jones picked No. 8 because of Kobe Bryant
In the NFL, quarterbacks are not allowed to wear numbers past 20. That limits their options, of course, especially if their previous number is taken by another player. For New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, that meant finding a new number.
When Jones arrived to the Giants as a rookie in late April of 2019, his No. 17 was taken by quarterback Kyle Lauletta. He had to find a new one.
Jones wound up settling on No. 8. His inspiration? Kobe Bryant.
“There were several options. I think eight is a good number,” Jones told reporters in May of 2019, via Dan Benton of Giants Wire. “Old Kobe, I guess.”
Bryant passed away at the age of 41 on Sunday. He and his daughter Gianna both perished in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. An NBA superstar and global icon, his early death shook the sports world to its core.
Jones didn’t know it at the time, but his number is an homage to the great Bryant and his daughter. Oddly enough, it’s one that he probably didn’t remember too well.
Bryant wore the No. 8 until the 2006 season. The 22-year-old Jones was nine when he did so. He probably remembers the No. 24 version of Kobe better, but as previously said, he can’t wear that number in the NFL.
Daniel Jones certainly enjoyed a successful rookie season for the Giants while donning the late Kobe Bryant’s old number. In 12 starts, he threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on a 61.9% completion rate. With Eli Manning now retired, he is now the main man in the Big Apple.