Share this article

Kobe Bryant Tribute: Former Lakers Star Reveals His Wish to Wear Jersey No. 60 in Honor of the Basketball Legend

Published 11/18/2023, 9:00 AM EST

Follow Us

via Getty

The late Kobe Bryant was the most inspirational to his fellow NBA athletes and his teammates. His work ethic and single-minded focus on pursuing NBA greatness earned him his individual accolades. However, his 5 NBA championship rings will always be a collaborative team effort of the Los Angeles Lakers, who supported and made up for the Black Mamba’s ‘bad’ shooting days.

America’s Favorite Video Today

In recent news, a former Lakers star and teammate of the late Kobe Bryant revealed how he wished to honor Bryant back in 2017. The former NBA veteran also opened up about his experience of witnessing the late Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game as a fellow teammate.

Former Lakers star’s wish to wear Jersey No. 60


Article continues below this ad

In an “Orange County Register” article, former Lakers veteran Metta World Peace wanted to change his jersey number to No. 60 from his favorite jersey no.37. The former Lakers veteran wished to do so in his 17th NBA season (2017). He wanted to change it to pay homage to Kobe Bryant’s iconic 60-point game against the Utah Jazz in 2016. Metta World Peace mentions in his interview with the “Orange County Register”, “I do want that No. 60. That’s all I was talking about, if I got back to the Lakers, was changing my number to 60”.

via Getty

He further talks about his experience regarding Kobe Bryant’s 60-point game against the Utah Jazz in 2016. Since Metta World Peace played with Kobe from 2009 to 2013 and again in 2016, the former Lakers veteran had a court-side view (with the team) of the late Kobe Bryant’s shooting exhibition against Utah.


Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Metta World Peace mentions, “I was so honored to be there.” He then talks about honoring Kobe with the jersey change, “I wanted to surprise him. I was so honored to be there…but, whatever.” The former Lakers veteran had requested the change when he signed the contract on September 22, 2016, but since the league’s deadline for players to change their numbers had long passed, he could not do so.

The former Lakers star was infamous for his aggressive nature on-court. He was also one member of the Indiana Pacers team that was involved in the unfortunate ‘Malice at the Palace’ incident. However, Metta World Peace could turn the page and enter a new chapter of his life when he came to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Under the guidance of the great Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace flourished as a player and learned how to channel his anger/aggression to on-court performance. Metta World Peace really understood where the late Kobe Bryant was coming from and always had the utmost respect for the NBA legend.

Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game 

‘I Am Disappointed’ Celtics Legend Kevin Garnett Acknowledges His Earlier Prediction on Former Warriors Star Didn’t Age Well

On April 13th, 2016, the late Kobe Bryant played his last game in the NBA. After a 20-year-long NBA journey riddled with injuries and other setbacks, the Black Mamba had finally reached his limit as a professional basketball player. The Black Mamba was averaging 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game even in his last season. Despite struggling with his painful long-term injuries, the 37-year-old Kobe Bryant seemed unbothered and ‘in the zone’ during his last game against the Utah Jazz.

via Imago

Many expected Bryant to have a decent or normal game but the Black Mamba had other plans. He proved to the entire world yet again why he is called one of the NBA’s most skilled players. He scored a staggering 60 points against the Utah Jazz in his last NBA game and his shot selections for all his shots in that game were near perfect.


Article continues below this ad

The young Utah Jazz squad had no answer for the Black Mamba’s offense. Kobe Bryant finished the game with 60 points and an unbelievable farewell victory (101-96) over the Utah Jazz. Kobe went out with a Hollywood ending to his remarkable NBA career and his “Mamba Out” retirement speech was the icing on the cake.

What are your thoughts on Metta World Peace’s wish to pay tribute to the great Kobe Bryant and the late Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game? Comment below!


Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY| Steve Kerr brutally slams referees, “Never Heard” rule for harsh Draymond Green ejection


Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Akhil Chakravarthy


One take at a time

I come from a family of tennis lovers. However, I fell in love with the game of basketball at the age of 9 when my Physical Education teacher made my entire class play a game of basketball. Since then, I have been an ardent basketball fan who was obsessed with Kobe Bryant.
Show More>

Edited by:

Caroline Joseph