When I first heard about the news of Kobe Bryant, it felt as if the world was crashing down on me. As a California native who was raised around the area of Los Angeles, I grew up under the Laker culture; I was part of the city that bled purple and gold.
Bryant had a 20 year tenure with the Lakers, but wasn’t originally supposed to be. He was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 draft by the Charlotte Hornets, but was immediately traded to Los Angeles thereafter.
In the first half of his career, Bryant wore number eight and played as that for a decade before making the switch to 24 in 2006.