January 5, 2016 / 3:26 AM / 3 years ago

Lakers torn on which of Bryant's numbers to retire

Dec 30, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during the second half of a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Kobe Bryant has enjoyed an illustrious career while wearing two separate jersey numbers and with his final chapter approaching it has left the Los Angeles Lakers with a decision about which one to retire.

“Obviously it’s going to be 8, 24 or it could be both,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “I don’t know the answer.”

Bryant wore number eight from the time he broke into the team in the 1996-97 campaign, won three championships and delivered an unforgettable 81-point performances while wearing it.

He changed to number 24 prior to the 2006-07 season, won two more championships and is wearing it in his 20th, and final, season in the NBA which has been on something of an extended farewell tour.

“This is a year that’s dedicated to Kobe and his farewell,” Kupchak said. And next year the Lakers will lift one of Bryant’s numbers into the arena rafters. Or, two of them.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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