Why did the Lakers’ Rui Hachimura choose to wear the No. 28 jersey?
If you’re going to choose a player to emulate, there aren’t any better choices than the Lakers legend, the late and great Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers new signing appears to be making his presence felt both on and off the court as he acclimatizes to life in the place where a legend like Kobe Bryant once played. Indeed, he’s gone as far as to take a piece of the history left behind for himself.
Kobe Bryant inspired Rui Hachimura is turning heads
Since his arrival, it would be fair to say that Rui Hachimura has endeared himself to both the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. In the four games that he’s played so far, the fourth-year forward is on an average of 13.3 points from more than 52% shooting, while the Lakers have won his 113 minutes on the court by 16 points. Hachimura of course, arrived courtesy of a January trade from the Washington Wizards, in an effort to cover the then injured Anthony Davis. Needless to say, he’s proven himself to be more than just a stand in, as he’s provided the Lakers with a much-needed presence in his position. Truth be told, on the basis of his performances so far, it’s quite likely that he will be starting for the remainder of the season.
Yet, there is another aspect of Hachimura’s arrival which has definitely left the Lakers’ faithful enamored. When the Lakers faced the Wizards, the big man wore the No. 8 jersey which of course is now retired in honor of the late Kobe Bryant. With that in consideration, Hachimura has since picked the No. 28, which according to franchise owner Jeanie Buss, was done in tribute to the legendary Lakers star and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, who also lost her life in the tragic helicopter accident that took Bryant’s life along with several others.
What did Jeanie Buss say about Rui Hachimura?
Speaking with ESPN recently, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss acknowledged Hachimura’s move. “Our new player, Hachimura, I met him, and I asked him, ‘Have you chosen a number yet?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I’m wearing No. 28,’” Buss said “And I’m like, ‘Oh, great!’ And he said, ‘Because of No. 2 for Gianna and No. 8 for Kobe.’” The anniversary of the death of Bryant and his daughter was honored on the January 26th, some three years after the terrible accident in the hills of California. During his time with the Lakers, Bryant wore both the No. 8 and No. 24, both of which have been retired by the franchise since his passing. While there is no comparison between the two, Hachimura has definitely got himself off to a good start in yellow and purple.
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