Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) is changing his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 26 in honor of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, Calif. Bryant wore No. 8 and No. 24 in his NBA career. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross will change their jersey numbers from No. 8 to honor Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine killed in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, Calif. The group was headed to Mamba Sports Academy, a facility that Bryant created and coached at, for a girls basketball game when their helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances. There were no survivors.
As players and coaches from around the league attempt to cope with the tragedy, multiple NBA players have started to informally retire Bryant's jersey numbers as a tribute. During Bryant's illustrious 20-year career with the Lakers, he wore No. 8 and No. 24.
Dinwiddie announced Tuesday on Twitter that he will switch his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 26. He explained that he chose No. 26 because his son, Elijah, was born on April 20 and Dinwiddie was born on April 6.
NBA fans on social media also pointed out that 26 is the sum of Bryant's No. 24 jersey and Gianna's jersey (No. 2).
The Magic announced later Tuesday that Ross would wear No. 31 instead of No. 8, starting with Saturday's game against the Miami Heat. Ross previously wore No. 31 before changing to No. 8 this season.
League sources told ESPN that New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor, who also wears No. 8, plans to change his jersey number. Earlier this week, the Dallas Mavericks announced the franchise will retire No. 24 in honor of Bryant.
According to NBA rules, any request to change jersey numbers must happen by Feb. 15 of the prior season. Typically, the number switch would go into effect for next season. In the same rule, the league states it will review requests on a case-by-case basis, as they were for both Dinwiddie and Ross.