Number Retirement, Ambassador Work Headlines Kobe’s Big Day
When ‘The Black Mamba’ makes news, you already know it will be for something big.
On Tuesday, not only was it announced that the Los Angeles Lakers will retire both of Kobe Bryant’s numbers (8 and 24), but Bryant himself joined Mission Hills Group and NBA China today to announce a multiyear partnership to design, develop, as well as operate China’s very first NBA Basketball School. The Ambassador work didn’t finish there as the partnership will also work on developing an NBA interactive experience and store in the Hainan Province.
“I am excited to be in Haikou to celebrate the great partnership between NBA China and Mission Hills Group.” Said the 18-time NBA All-Star. “The Chinese youth will benefit from a complete approach to player development that combines NBA-quality coaching with NBA-level training. I believe this partnership will lift the game of basketball to a higher level in China.”
As for the number retirement announcement, the Lakers will honour Bryant on December 18, during halftime of their game against the Golden Stat Warriors.
Bryant will become the 10th Lakers great to see his jersey retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Shaquille O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).
Over his legendary 20-year career, Bryant averaged 25-points, 5.2-rebounds, and 4.7-assists per game as a member of the Lakers organization, winning five championships over that span.