Mark Cuban Says Mavericks Will Retire No. 24 After Kobe Bryant's Death

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26:  Lights illuminate the jerseys in tribute of former Los Angeles Laker shooting guard, NBA star, Kobe Bryant during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Bryant, 41, and his daughter died today in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will not be the only NBA team to have retired Kobe Bryant's No. 24.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban announced the franchise will retire Bryant's No. 24 in a tribute to the late Lakers legend.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna, nicknamed Gigi, were among those who died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.

Cuban issued a statement on Bryant's death announcing the decision to retire the number:

"We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

"Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.

"Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.

"Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere."

Few things are more indicative of Bryant's status as a Lakers legend than the fact that the all-time franchise with 16 championships and some of the jerseys of the best players in league history hanging in the rafters elected to retire both his Nos. 8 and 24.

He played all 20 seasons of his NBA career in the Purple and Gold and finished with five championships, a league MVP, two NBA Finals MVPs, 15 All-NBA selections, 12 All-Defensive selections, two scoring titles and 18 All-Star nods.

While he was a Western Conference rival of the Mavericks throughout his career and battled Dallas in memorable clashes, his impact went beyond which team he played for during his career. Cuban made that clear with this decision.