As NBA players honor Kobe Bryant by changing numbers, Kemba Walker is considering going the opposite route
Walker wears No. 8 for the Celtics
In the aftermath of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, the NBA community has come together in finding different ways to honor Bryant who cemented himself over the course of a 20-year career as one of the greatest players of all time.
Being that Kobe wore No. 8 for the first 10 years of his career, and No. 24 for the final 10 years, teams came up with the idea to start games by taking an 8-second backcourt violations and 24-second shot-clock violations in his honor.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said no player for the Mavericks will ever wear No. 24 again. No other teams have made a similar ruling yet, but some players who currently wear No. 8 or No. 24 are taking it upon themselves to honor Kobe by switching numbers. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has gone from No. 8 to No. 26. Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross went from No. 8 back to the No. 31 he wore during his five years in Toronto.
In total, prior to Bryant's death, 30 NBA players wore either No. 8 or No. 24. Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker is one of them. After Boston's victory over Miami on Tuesday night, Walker said that while others are choosing to go away from Kobe's numbers, he's thinking about going the opposite route.
"I'm considering it but I'm not sure yet," Walker said when asked if he would follow other players' lead and go away from his No. 8 jersey. "I definitely have tons of respect for Kobe. But everybody mourns a little bit different. For me, I'm thinking I would love to honor him by wearing that number. Kobe played hard each and every night, and I would like to honor him by doing the same. I'm definitely thinking about it, but we'll see."
Walker is right. Unless a a team mandate is in place, as with the Mavericks, it's up to every player how they want to honor Kobe, or if they want to honor him at all. There's no right or wrong way to do it. If Walker were to continue wearing No. 8, a lot of people will think about Kobe, if only for a second, every time they see that number on his back -- the same way that most people think about Michael Jordan, and younger generations think about LeBron James, when they see No. 23.
There's no doubt that if anyone can continue to wear and honor Bryant's number in the right way, Walker is one of those guys. He plays his heart out every single night. He's a fierce competitor and as tough as they come. I don't think there's any question that Bryant would be proud to have a guy like Walker continue to wear his number, if indeed that's what Walker chooses to do.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The two will just announce the 12 players who will compete at the Summer Olympics
Towns was held out of the Wolves' final game before the All-Star break
The 12-team league will tip off on March 13 in Senegal
John Beilein is stepping down as Cleveland's head coach after 54 games into his tenure
Beilein is reportedly going to be re-assigned to a different role in the organization
Wade is entering the rap game with a new single called "Season Ticket Holder"