After tragedy struck the NBA community on Sunday, the Charlotte Hornets have a way that they can honor their former lottery-pick.
Following the news of Bryant’s death, the NBA community came together and mourned with one another. Fans and many athletes took to social media to express their thoughts and prayers for Bryants’ family.
On this horrific day, many teams around the league honored Kobe Bryant during their games. Team’s each took a 24-second shot-clock violation, while others took an eight-second backcourt violation
On Sunday, Dallas Mavericks’ PR released a statement from owner Mark Cuban, who mourned Bryant and stated that no Mavericks player will ever wear the jersey #24 again.
Charlotte Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan and General Manager Mitch Kupchak, also released a statement. Jordan said that Bryant was “like a little brother.”
It’s unclear if every team in the league will follow the Mavericks’ lead. With this, we did a twitter poll on @SwarmnSting on the matter. In this poll with a question regarding if the Hornets should retire Bryant’s #24 jersey, 742 voters participated.
According to 77% of the fans who voted, they think the Hornets should retire the #24 jersey to honor Kobe Bryant, while 23% voted no. Both sides made convincing points on what they thought the Hornets should do.
There have only been six players ever to wear #24 for the Hornets. Of all the players to wear this jersey number, the most notable one was Jamal Mashburn.
Many fans also suggested that the Hornets should instead retire the #8 jersey, commemorating the jersey Bryant first wore in the NBA. The Hornets have only had eight players wear #8; notable players are Eddie Johnson, Bismack Biyombo, and Steve Smith.
In the team’s history, the Hornets have only retired one jersey, which is Bobby Phills’ #13. The team retired Phills’ on February 9th, 2000, following his automobile-related death.
Kobe Bryant never played a minute for the Charlotte Hornets, but he did spend a week with the team before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant finished his career as an amazing father and husband, a legend, a five-time NBA Champion, and a 20-season Laker great. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and those who were also affected.