On Monday, Dec. 18, the Los Angeles Lakers will raise two numbers into the rafters: no. 8 and no. 24. Yes, Kobe Bryant will have both his numbers retired, and the team announced plans to launch a special "Kobeland" street festival to celebrate the occasion.
From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Chich Hearn court, the street that divides STAPLES Center and LA Live, the Lakers will have a variety of Bryant-themed games, a Ferris Wheel, photo opportunities, branded merchandise and a live D.J. spinning records. One expects the music playlist will skip over Bryant's own short-lived rapping career, but if ever there was a time to bust out those old tunes, this would be it.
In addition to the games and photo opportunities put on by the Lakers, Nike expects to have a notable presence with a no. 8 and no. 24 themed truck on site, so one would be wise to expect giveaways and competitions. After starting his career as an Adidas athlete, Bryant switched over to Nike and finished his career with the popular athletic brand.
Even though Bryant is no longer playing, his signature shoes are ubiquitous in NBA games and remain one of the most popular basketball shoes in the league.
Bryant's numbers will be retired in a ceremony at halftime of the game against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. The cheapest seats to witness the ceremony live are $275 each on the popular ticket resale site Stubhub.com. A pair of courtside seats were listed for as much as $28,050 each on the same site.
For those who do not want to shell out big bucks but still want to celebrate and be a part of the historic occasion, "Kobeland" is free and open to the public.