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Kobe Bryant never played for the Mavericks, but Dallas just retired No. 24 anyway

Kobe Bryant's life & legacy
Kobe Bryant's life & legacy 09:58

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant played for the same NBA franchise for the entirety of his storied 20-year career—an incredible feat in the sports world these days. That franchise, of course, was the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe's name is synonymous with it. And the image of his gold-and-purple No. 24 jersey flying toward the hoop in the Staples Center is immortalized in the minds of sports fans across the globe.

So, when Kobe Bryant retired from the league in 2016, the Lakers retired both the No. 8 jersey – which Kobe sported when he first entered the NBA after high school – and his iconic No. 24 jersey. For the Lakers, that was all but expected.

However, on Sunday, after news of Bryant's tragic death reverberated through the country, the Dallas Mavericks announced that they too would be retiring No. 24 in his honor.

"Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement. "Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick." 

Widely considered one of the greatest basketball players to ever step foot on a court, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time all-star. He is the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history and is a lock to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

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