Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the many NBA stars who grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, and it’s the reason he has worn No. 8 throughout his career. In the aftermath of Kobe’s death, Dinwiddie has announced that he is personally retiring the No. 8.
The 26-year old guard revealed that he will now be wearing No. 26 moving forward.
Dinwiddie grew up in the L.A. area during the height of Kobe Bryant’s illustrious NBA career. Following Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden, which took place just hours after the tragic helicopter crash, Dinwiddie explained that Kobe telling him he was an All Star meant more than actually being selected to the team.
“I met Kobe several times, exchanged pleasantries and text messages and things, and maybe it’s a little bit overexaggerating but I felt like this was the first time he was looking at me as the basketball player, Spencer, you know what I mean?” Dinwiddie said on Sunday, according to the New York Post.
“I briefly told you guys how much he meant to all the people from where I’m from, and for him to tell me that in his book, I’m an All-Star and stuff like that, that uh — I kinda talk about [the All-Star Game as] a popularity contest before, like you know, you don’t win things like that when you’re me. So for him to say that, like, I didn’t need to be selected anymore, because I was an All-Star. It’s not just like my family knows. The guy [knows].”
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, several other NBA players who wear No. 8 or No. 24 are also expected to change their jersey numbers. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has already announced that no Maverick will ever wear No. 24 again, and there’s a strong chance that other teams around the league will do the same.