When it comes to the most recognizable numbers in sports history, there aren't many that top 24. The life, career, and unfortunate death of Kobe Bean Bryant has immortalized the number forever -- and it's easy to see why.
Bryant was more than en exceptional ballplayer, he helped inspire a way of life. He helped motivate and inspire an entire generation of people to work hard and dream big. A lot of his most iconic and career-defining moments came while he donned the infamous 24.
His original number, however, was the 8 he wore in the early stages of his career. While not as storied as 24, the origins of the number 8 have been revealed to us by Kobe himself. In a clip of Bryant (tweeted by Caron Butler), the story was revealed.
"I was playing in a High School tournament and you have over 220 people there so you had some very high numbers. My number was 143 and that was the best week I ever had playing basketball against top-notch competitors. So I basically added them up and came up with my number."
It's not rocket science, but things clearly worked out for Bryant. By the time he retired in 2016, he was an 18x All-Star, 2x Scoring Champ, 15x All-NBA Player, 1x MVP, and 5x NBA Champion. Both no. 8 and no. 24 have been retired by the Lakers.
Regardless, since we all know how his life came to a tragic end in January, it's especially nice to hear some more about his beginnings.