The No. 8 represents Bryant, who famously wore No. 8 and No. 24 during his illustrious 20-year career with the Lakers. The No. 2 honors Gianna, who wore the number in her youth basketball games. She intended to play for UConn in the future.
Bryant, 41, and 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.
Cook, who grew up a Lakers fan, visited the Bryant memorial that was set up on the L.A. Live plaza across the street from Staples Center on Monday. He was seen next to fans while clutching a Bryant jersey in his hands.
"I'm completely crushed. I haven't cried this much or been in this much pain since I lost my dad in 2008," Cook wrote on Instagram Monday. "[Sunday] I lost my hero, my idol, & the main reason my love for this game is where it is today. Can't really process this but we all are devastated and heartbroken about what happened to my hero Kobe & his beautiful daughter Gianna."
As players and coaches from around the NBA attempt to cope with the tragedy, multiple players have started to informally retire Bryant's jersey numbers as a tribute.
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross both announced Tuesday they will switch from No. 8. Earlier this week, the Dallas Mavericks said the franchise will retire No. 24 in honor of Bryant.