Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s jersey was a ‘shot’ at Michael Jordan, claims Kevin Garnett

Kobe Bryant is the only player who has two jersey numbers retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. The fallen icon dawned the No. 8 jersey during the first part of his career, winning no less than three championships with it alongside Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe then shocked the basketball world when he switched to the No. 24 right before the 2006-07 season. He would go on to win two more titles with the No. 24 on his back.

As it turns out, Kobe’s decision to change numbers was motivated by his incessant desire to prove that he was better than the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan — at least according to Boston Celtics legend Kevin Garnett. As per KG’s account, he has no doubt in his mind that Kobe was taking a shot at MJ when he switched to the No. 24:

“People don’t even understand that was a sign to everybody that he was a step above 23,” Garnett said of the Lakers legend (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter). “… That was a shot at Mike. Straight up.”

Garnett was one of Kobe’s fiercest competitors during their heyday, as proven by the unforgettable Finals serieses between the Lakers and the Celtics. However, KG also had a close relationship with Bryant before the Black Mamba’s untimely passing. We just don’t know if Bryant actually confided with Garnett to share this bit of information or that this is nothing more than a controversial, yet somewhat confounded theory by Garnett. Either way, it makes for a good story.

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