Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie announced Tuesday afternoon that he’s changing his jersey number from 8 to 26 to honor childhood hero Kobe Bryant.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Dinwiddie and “multiple” other NBA players are changing their numbers to informally retire Bryant’s jersey numbers as a tribute.
Dinwiddie made the announcement on his verified Twitter account.
“Everything in life evolves. #26,” Dinwiddie wrote. The message was followed by an emoji of two hands praying.
Dinwiddie followed that with another tweet.
“We often search for meaning in numbers. And yes you guys have caught a lot of the obvious reasons . . . There’s one more tho, person that I often speak about but hold private and most close to my heart. Elijah + Spencer = 20 + 6. Honor your ppl, love you son.” It was followed by a hand emoji with the thumb and pinkie finger extended.
The Nets followed a short time later on their verified Twitter account with a photo of Dinwiddie wearing No. 26.
“Honor your people,” the tweet read. “Number 26, Spencer Dinwiddie.”
Bryant wore Nos. 8 and 24 during his 20-year career with the Lakers, who retired both numbers in 2017. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced on Sunday that no Mavericks player would ever wear No. 24 again.
Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.
Dinwiddie was emotional talking about Bryant after Sunday night’s game at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
“I was born in ’93 and he was drafted in ’96,” Dinwiddie said. “I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. He was everything to my generation. There’s a whole generation of L.A. kids. That was our childhood, you know what I mean?
“The lesson of hard work, and as cliché as it might sound, the ‘Mamba mentality,’ right? That’s part of the reason I am who I am today, the mentality of consistent work and pushing through boundaries and playing through injuries and never giving up, never falling, just continuing to push through . . . He was everything to a lot of kids, and I was one of them.”