by user Madproof9

It was announced Wednesday that Kobe Bryant will be changing his uniform number next year, from his current #8, to #24. Kobe wearing #24 will be like if Wayne Gretzky decided midway through his career that he wanted to be #14. It's just not right. Why didn't Kobe choose #24 when he entered the League? I'm not 100% sure if another player had it or not at that time Kobe entered the League, but that's irrelevant, because another player, Jim Jackson, currently wears the number, and will have to give it up for Kobe anyway. A number is a player. Wayne Gretzky IS #99, Michael Jordan IS #23 (sorry LeBron, I think you need a new number), Mickey Mantle IS #7. To think of these players as anything else is ridiculous, and to think of Kobe as anything but #8 is also ridiculous.

So why the sudden change for Kobe? How come after 10 years, he suddenly decides #24 is the way to go? The same reason the rest of the NBA has other jerseys. Why do you think teams have been wearing third jerseys, Sunday jerseys, alternate Sunday jerseys, throwback jerseys, semi-throwback jerseys, jersey's from when the team was in another city, jerseys from...Where ever they are from? Money is the only reason. Every New Jersey is profit. A fan sees the New Jersey, and instantly wants to be cool, and to have that jersey. Every New Jersey that is available, there will be fans to purchase it.
Fan #1 - "The Laker's colors aren't even baby blue and white!"
Fan #2 - "Who cares, I gotta get the new jersey, it's only $75!"

The Los Angeles Lakers have worn essentially the same home and road jersey's since Kobe entered the league 10 seasons ago. A few minor changes here and there, but if you put two fans side by side, one with a 10-year-old jersey, and one with a one-year-old jersey, most people could not tell the difference. The Lakers jerseys are classic, and they can't be changed without creating an uproar. So what do the Lakers and Kobe do to make more money from jersey sales? Change Kobe's number. Now you aren't cool unless you have the new #24 Kobe jersey. Every fan of Kobe now feels obligated to go buy another jersey, to give the League more profits from its sale. If they don't have the #24 jersey, they aren't a real fan.

The idea is stupid, and the players and the League are greedy. Fans support the athletes enough without having to buy a New Jersey every night, just because a team decides to wear their alternate-third-Sunday-of-an-odd-month-when-it's-raining-outside jersey. Stop exploiting your fans for a few extra dollars.


Thu 04/27/06, 12:53 am EST

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