Kobe's jersey number rumors

Updated: May 3, 2006, 3:56 PM ET
Last week, I reported that Kobe Bryant will change his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 24 next season. Bryant refused to explain the reason and said he'd do so after the playoffs. Well, the same source who gave us the original tip says the reason Bryant is changing numbers is because he's not happy with adidas. Bryant parted ways with adidas in July 2002, but the shoe company is still capitalizing off him by reissuing his first signature shoe, KB8, as a retro shoe, renaming it "Crazy 8."

Changing his number from No. 8 to No. 24 will make his break with adidas a bit more clean, as the shoe does have a big No. 8 near the toe. If true, the whole thing might have backfired because adidas bought Reebok, which made the NBA jerseys, and now adidas is making the jerseys. So if Kobe sells more jerseys because of the switch, it will go into the coffers of adidas as well. Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, did not return calls seeking comment.