Spencer Dinwiddie and "multiple" other NBA players are planning on changing their jersey numbers in order to informally retire Kobe Bryant's old Nos. 8 and 24, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Dinwiddie has changed his jersey number from 8 to 26. Jersey changes typically take a season to finalize, but the NBA is allowing the 26-year-old from Los Angeles to make an immediate switch, according to The New York Times' Marc Stein.
Terrence Ross, too, changed his number from 8 to 31 in honor of Kobe.
Dinwiddie teared up when reflecting on his and Kobe's friendship on Sunday.
“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 told reporters before he started to tear up. “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].”
Nets teammate Kyrie Irving missed Sunday's game against the New York Knicks hours after the news broke that Bryant had been killed in a helicopter accident. Irving practiced Tuesday but did not speak to the media. His coach, Kenny Atkinson, told reporters that he didn't want to speak for his star point guard, but that Irving was "tremendously affected" by Kobe's death.
On Tuesday, Quinn Cook reportedly changed his number from 2 to 28 to honor Gianna Bryant's No. 2 and Bryant's No. 8. Gianna, 13, was also a victim of the accident. Markieff Morris went from No. 8 to 88 in tribute as well.
Later in the day, it was reported that Mason Plumlee (No. 24 to 7) and Jahlil Okafor (No. 8 to 9) have followed suit.