Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross changed numbers on Tuesday to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
Both players are changing their number from No. 8, one of the numbers Bryant wore with the Los Angeles Lakers. Dinwiddie switched to No. 26, while Ross chose No. 31.
Dinwiddie, who terms Bryant as his childhood hero, said on Twitter he chose 26 because his son, Elijah, was born on the 20th while Dinwiddie was born 6th. The sum of the numbers make 26.
Ross is switching back to 31, the number he wore prior to this season before changing to No. 8. The Magic said Ross will begin wearing No. 31 again on Saturday.
The NBA typically doesn’t allow numeral changes during the season but is making exceptions in the wake of Bryant’s death. The league policy says changes will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
The NBA allowed Atlanta Hawks star guard Trae Young to wear Bryant’s No. 8 for the opening tip of Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards. That game started just hours after the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others. Young then switched to his usual No. 11 for the rest of the game.
Bryant wore No. 8 from 1997-2006, and then wore No. 24 for the remainder of his 20 NBA seasons.
–Field Level Media