(CBSLA)- The news of Kobe Bryant’s death hit players across the NBA hard. As those who knew the former Los Angeles Lakers star or idolized his game growing up continue to work through their grief, several players have already announced their intentions to change their jersey numbers in honor of Bryant.
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie was the first to make the announcement he would be changing from No. 8, with the team officially announcing the switch on Tuesday.
Honor your people.
Number 26, Spencer Dinwiddie. pic.twitter.com/Y3oZREw602
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 28, 2020
Orlando Magic forward Terrence Ross made his switch from No. 8 to his old No. 31 official that same day, while New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor made the switch from wearing No. 8 a day later. Those three players have officially changed their jersey numbers. However, they will likely not be the last. Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris, Golden State Warriors guard Alec Burks, Los Angeles Clippers forward Moe Harkless, Denver Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee and Philadelphia 76ers guard Zhaire Smith have all stated intentions to move away from wearing No. 8 in a de facto retiring of Bryant’s former number.
Those changes have yet to be officially announced by their respective teams, and New York Times basketball insider Marc Stein says that the league is taking these jersey requests on a “case-by-case basis.”
Requests by current NBA players to change from No. 8 or No. 24 to a new number in tribute to Kobe Bryant, like the Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie just did, will be reviewed by the NBA on a case-by-case basis, according to a source briefed on the process
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 28, 2020
The NBA has a March 15th deadline for teams to officially inquire about players switching jersey numbers, but that deadline can be waived in different circumstances. As Lakers fans saw this past summer, the league was willing to waive that deadline for LeBron James to switch his jersey from No. 23 to No. 6 in order to welcome Anthony Davis to the team. But Nike put the kibosh on that, citing that the switch would cause potential production and financial issues for the company.
No Lakers player currently wears No. 8 or No. 24 as both numbers were retired by the organization to honor Bryant in December of 2017. But that hasn’t stopped one Lakers player from requesting a jersey number change, albeit to honor a different member of the Bryant family.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 29, 2020
Guard Quinn Cook told Charania that No. 2 is “Gianna’s number. I feel it should be retired. It’s hers.” The 13-year-old Gianna was on the helicopter with Bryant when it crashed Sunday morning. Cook joins the UConn women’s basketball team, who honored Gianna earlier this week saying she is “Forever a Husky.”