No. 8 vs. No. 24: Which Kobe Bryant Would You Choose?

On April 26, 2006, whilst in the midst of perhaps his greatest individual season, Kobe Bryant announced his intention to change his number from eight to 24, beginning with the 2006-2007 season.

For such a seemingly small event, this announcement garnered major coverage in the sports media world.  When Bryant initially refused to reveal the reason for the change, numerous theories arose as to why he was making a mid-career switch.  These ranged from theories indicating Kobe was a Jeff Gordon fan, to Kobe wanting to be one number better than Michael Jordan.

Bryant has since revealed the simple reason for the number change: he had worn Nos. 24 and 33 in high school, but both of these numbers were unavailable when he signed with the Lakers.  He arrived at the No. 8 by adding the digits from his ABCD Camp number, 1234. 

After having worn No. 8 for 10 NBA seasons, Kobe stated that the first part of his career was over, and he was beginning the second part with the No. 24. 

It has been four seasons since the change, ample time for us to compare Bryant's accomplishments while wearing each number.  So this brings up a question: which Kobe Bryant would you want on your team?  The one wearing No. 8, or the one with No. 24?  Let's decide:

Regular Season Statistics

While wearing No. 8:

707 games played

35.69 minutes per game

.4515 field goal percentage

.336 three-point field goal percentage

.834 free throw percentage

5.14 rebounds per game

4.45 assists per game

1.5 steals per game

0.62 blocks per game

2.87 turnovers per game

23.86 points per game

Kobe Bryant wore the No. 8 from the 1996-1997 season until the 2005-2006 season.  Over that span, he aged from 18 to 28 years old.  The numbers that he put up in that span ar...

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