Kobe Bryant was widely considered one of the best basketball players of all time, and his death stunned many in the NBA. It was worsened by the fact that his daughter Gianna and seven other people died beside him in a horrific helicopter crash. Julius Erving recently stated that the NBA should not retire Kobe Bryant’s numbers league-wide.
Julius Erving adores Kobe Bryant and has even played basketball with the Mamba’s father. However, he told TMZ that the Lakers legend’s number should not be retired league-wide, as it did with Bill Russell earlier this summer. Following Adam Silver’s decision to honor Russell by permanently hanging up his #6 after the Celtics legend’s passing, many feel he should do the same for Kobe, who unfortunately died in 2020.
Dr. J, who described Russell as a good friend, clearly feels differently. “I don’t think he should be compared with the Russell situation,” Erving said of Kobe out at LAX. Instead, Erving feels Bryant’s posthumous honors should be left to his former Los Angeles Lakers. Erving also expressed gratitude to Silver for retiring Russell’s number.
We’re fresh into that but let’s see how that works out. Maybe at some point in time. Bill was 86 years old, so address it like that to an 86-year-old — multiple champions, multiple coaching champions, multiple on-and-off the court champion, or whatever — there’s no comparison.
I wouldn’t even try to compare Kobe Bryant to Russell.
It’s more of a franchise situation with the Lakers. If they wanted to do it, which I think they already have, that makes sense — but for the whole league to do it, probably not.
Bill was a very special individual and what he did for basketball, no one else could ever do again.
Vanessa Bryant recently won a $16 million lawsuit against Los Angeles County after a jury gave a favorable verdict. Whether retired or not, Kobe’s legacy will live on. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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