Cook to wear No. 26 moving forward: “No. 2 is Gianna’s number."
NBA players who wear either No. 8 or No. 24 have begun the process of changing their jersey numbers as a way of honoring Kobe Bryant in the aftermath of his death. Additionally, Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook has announced that he will no longer wear No. 2, the number worn by Kobe's 13-year old daughter Gianna, who was one of nine killed in the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday.
According to Shams Charania, Cook explained to The Athletic, “No. 2 is Gianna’s number. I feel it should be retired. It’s hers.”
Cook grew up in Los Angeles and has been an avid Lakers fan since he was a kid. Like many others, Kobe was Cook's hero, and he was among those who flocked to Staples Center this week to mourn the loss of the Laker legend.
The 26-year old guard also posted an emotional IG post, which reads in part:
"I’m completely crushed. I haven’t cried this much or been in this much pain since I lost my dad in 2008. Yesterday 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. You taught us all so much on and off the court. Anyone who knows me knows what Kobe means to me and to the entire world."
The Lakers are expected to return to the court on Friday night, as they host the Portland Trail Blazers in a game that will air on ESPN at 10:30pm ET.