Manny Machado sported a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform for the first time Friday, and the first thing everyone seemed to notice was the new number on the back of his jersey.
After wearing the No. 13 during his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles, Machado will be wearing the No. 8 during his time with the Dodgers. The switch comes in part because All-Star Max Muncy already wears the No. 13. But it also allows Machado to honor one of LA’s greatest sports legends.
Of course, we’re speaking of former Los Angeles Lakers guard and future NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant.
Bryant wore the No. 8 during the early part of his NBA career, before switching to No. 24 in his later years. Both numbers were retired by the Lakers this past December.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) July 20, 2018
It’s a cool nod from Machado, who also acknowledged that his wife is actually the Lakers fan in the family. His allegiance has been with the Miami Heat, which makes sense considering he grew up right outside Miami.
While addressing the media before his Dodgers debut in Milwaukee, Machado gave a shoutout to LeBron James as well. Machado and James have something in common now as the new stars in town charged with helping bring a championship trophy back to Los Angeles.
Machado’s stay in LA figures to be a much shorter one than LeBron’s. He’s only under contract through the end of this season. But Machado is letting the city know he’s with them all the way for as long as his stay lasts.
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