What was once all but guaranteed is an obvious foregone conclusion at this point in Kobe Bryant's career. He's going to have his jersey hanging in the rafters some day not long after he retires. Perhaps Shaquille O'Neal will end up being a part of the ceremony.
There's really no question about whether or not Kobe's going to have his jersey retired; the only thing that's left to do is make the arrangements for the ceremony.
That's something that seemed to get underway after the Lakers retired Jamaal Wilkes' jersey a few nights back.
As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West all looked on, Wilkes' jersey was revealed up in the Staples Center rafters, hanging next to Magic Johnson's jersey.
A wealth of old teammates came out to show support to the sometimes forgotten member of the Lakers, who made a huge impact on the team between 1978 and 1986.
So, after nearly two decades playing in Los Angeles, who is going to be there to commemorate Kobe when the day comes to immortalize his own number?
Of course, he's made friends with the likes of Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol in his time with the Lakers, but he's made quite a few enemies in the past 16 seasons as well.
Kobe, being his ever-cheeky self, suggested that Shaquille O'Neal be the guy to introduce Kobe as the newest Laker in the rafters. I wonder how that would taste...