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Kobe Bryant dreamed of having jersey retired; Lakers set to give him two

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHis career was a celebration of excess. He scored 81 points in 2006 and attempted 50 shots in his final game little more than a year ago. So, of course, he won’t just become the 10th Laker to have his number retired, but the first to have two numbers retired. The festivities will include a street fair the Lakers are calling “Kobeland.”“I’m glad he’s getting both jerseys retired,” Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball said. “I think that’s fitting for him.”A number is an identity. Bryant had two of each. As No. 8, he was the fun-loving sidekick to the greatest center of a generation.Ten years into his career, Shaquille O’Neal had been shipped off to Miami and Bryant was rehabbing his image after charges were dropped in a headline-grabbing sexual assault case. That’s when he became No. 24.He won three titles as No. 8, two as No. 24. As 8, he scored 16,866 points; 24 poured in 16,777 (in 145 fewer games). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Soon, both identities will hang alongside the legends he previously knew only through the grainy VHS tapes his grandparents sent when he was growing up in Italy. When he was traded to the Lakers on draft night in 1996, he knew there was a chance.“OK,” the 17-year-old told himself, “if I do my job, if I work, then one day my name will be up there.”Fast forward a generation or so, and Bryant has mostly kept a distance from the franchise with which he spent 20 years, operating only in the shadows, if at all.He talks regularly to Rob Pelinka, his former agent who now serves as the team’s general manager. Starting Monday, he will quite literally have a presence that hangs over the Lakers, rather than just a metaphorical one.He will be feted in a 21-minute halftime ceremony that is expected to feature former teammates, including Shaquille O’Neal and Lamar Odom.“It’s going to be really emotional, I’m sure,” Bryant said, “going back and seeing a bunch of fans and people who I’ve seen since my rookie season, courtside and all throughout the arena.“And having come full circle to now going back and watching. And it will be a pretty emotional experience I would think.”Bryant has not returned to Staples Center for a Lakers game since April 13, 2016, the night he scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz in the last of his 1,566 games, including playoff appearances.“Been a little busy,” Bryant said. “Been a little busy.”The launch of Kobe, Inc., a company that specializes in telling stories that inspire, occupies his days, while he also coaches the basketball teams his daughters, Natalia and Giannia, play for. He and his wife, Vanessa, had a third daughter, Bianka Bella Bryant, last December.“My kids keep me really, really busy,” Bryant said, “especially around this time of the year where there’s school, there’s after-school activities, there’s sports, not to mention the company that we’re building and the things we’re trying to create. It’s non-stop, man.”The retirement letter Bryant wrote to fans in November of 2015, “Dear Basketball,” has been adapted into a short film animated by Glen Keane (the Disney illustrator behind “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast”) and scored by John Williams (of “Star Wars” fame).The short film was short-listed for an Academy Award.“I never imagined I’d be doing this, you know what I mean?” Bryant said. “But you kind of learn, you follow your passion to what it is that you truly, truly love. And do that process and start trimming the fat, simply focus on the things that are most important.”The fact that he could add an Oscar to a trophy case that includes one NBA Most Valuable Player trophy, two NBA Finals MVPs and five championship rings blows Bryant’s mind.“Just you saying that sounds ridiculous,” he said.It’s possible that Bryant will eventually be recognized as much for his achievements with Kobe, Inc., as for anything he accomplished as No. 8 or No. 24. For the members of the current Lakers roster, there are fewer memories of the earliest days of Bryant’s career while they hold on to first-hand experiences with No. 24.Jordan Clarkson was a teammate with Bryant for the final two seasons of the future Hall of Famer’s career and remembers him as “kind of almost being like a godfather to us, (giving) the blueprint on how to do stuff.”Brandon Ingram, who was born the summer after Bryant’s rookie season, said he has “one or two memories from No. 8.”“But,” he said, “it was really No. 24 for me. Even watching some of the highlights before he changed his number, it’s easy to type something on YouTube. Either number, he was still a killer.”When the Lakers drafted Ingram No. 2 overall in 2016, Bryant’s career had been over for little more than two months. His lockers at the team’s practice facility and Staples Center were cleaned out and prepared for their next occupant, Ingram.It was a strong message from the organization that it believed it had found Bryant’s successor. Ingram was fully aware of the symbolism.“I have to say it’s an honor,” Ingram said. “It’s an honor to try to be there, fill some shoes and just try to come out here and work every day.”That pressure has been there since Inrgram arrived. When, like Bryant two decades earlier, he studied the jerseys hanging above the Lakers’ court and dreamed of one day seeing his name alongside them.“I think to have my number retired one day,” Ingram said, “or be one of the best players who came through here one day is my goal.”Bryant knows that feeling. It drove him.“It’s something,” he said, “that I dreamed of happening.”center_img At 17, Kobe Bryant arrived for the first time at The Forum in Inglewood and looked up, up, up.His eyes moved past the 10-foot rim he would assault night after night in his quest to become a star; past the orange and gold seats that would be occupied by people who would wear his jerseys and name pets and children after him.His gaze settled on the row of retired numbers hanging from the ceiling, stars in the sky.“I had seen it on video so many times because I was such a big Laker fan,” Bryant told the Southern California News Group last week, “but to actually step on the hardwood floor at The Forum and see them for the first time, it gave me goosebumps.”last_img read more

Corentyne man remanded for discharging rounds from stolen gun

first_img…during attack on elderly woman, 5-year-old girlA Corentyne man, who late last month reportedly stole a gun along with ammunition, and allegedly discharged the rounds at an elderly woman and her grandchild, was on Tuesday brought before the Whim Magistrate’s Court.Suraj Singh, 26, of Number 72 Village, Corentyne, appeared before MagistrateAccused: Suraj SinghCharlyn Artiga and denied the allegations brought against him.He pleaded not guilty to the first charge which alleged that between November 22-23, 2017, he stole a gun and ammunition; property of Booraj Surajbally.Singh also denied discharging rounds with intention to cause injuries to five-year-old Renuka Singh and Savitree Hassan, her grandmother.According to the Police prosecution, on the day of the incident, a loud explosion was heard and when inspections were made, the child who was at the time screaming and her grandmother were both attacked while sleeping and were found to have received injuries.The two were rushed to the Skeldon Hospital where they were treated for gunshot injuries. Singh, according to the Police, was seen escaping from the scene of the crime.Despite his not guilty plea, the accused when questioned told the court that he carried out the act because of a previous incident involving the husband of the elderly woman whom he is accusing of raping his relative.He was remanded to prison and will return to court on January 4, 2018, at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court.This publication was informed that Police are investigating the allegation made by Singh against the husband of the elderly woman.last_img read more