Bucs CB changing his jersey to No. 24 as Kobe Bryant tribute
Kobe Bryant’s death hit those who grew watching him play particularly hard, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis is no exception.
Speaking with reporters this week, Davis said that he was changing his jersey number from No. 33 to No. 24 this season as a tribute to the late Los Angeles Lakers star. The 23-year-old also spoke in the impact Bryant had on his life.
“Kobe was my all-time favorite athlete ever since I was a kid,” said Davis, per Mark Inabinett of AL.com. “I really looked up to him and the way he carried himself as an athlete, the way he approached the game. His Mamba mentality was everything to me, something I adopted from a young age and I’ve always kept it with me. I’m a huge Lakers fan because of him.
“And just hearing about his death was just heart-breaking,” Davis went on. “I didn’t know what to think. I just hate to even think about it because it’s just so surreal that he’s really gone. He passed away way too soon. Yeah, I definitely switched my number because of him. He’s always been a guy who I chased after as far as his greatness and what he’s accomplished, so I would like to continue to do that with his number on.”
Davis, the former Auburn star, is about to enter his third NFL season. He made 14 starts for the Bucs in 2019, finishing fourth on the team with 60 combined tackles.
Several other NFL players will be making similar tributes to Bryant, the legendary five-time champion, including one on Bryant’s hometown team.