The pick is in for Andre Drummond’s jersey choice as the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers will wear No. 2 for the gold and purple. It is a significant number for Lakers fans as it is the one Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s late daughter Gianna “Gigi” wore while playing soccer and later basketball. Gigi’s number had a tie-in to her father’s signature No. 24 with the Lakers as well as pro soccer player Sydney Leroux.
“For those that don’t know- Gigi wore #2 as a soccer player since it’s @sydneyleroux’s number and Gigi kept her number as a baller,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram in June 2020, per Sports Illustrated. “Syd has a #2 tattoo in Gigi’s Jersey font to honor my baby). Love you always @sydneyleroux ❤️.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported Drummond chose to wear the No. 2 for the Lakers but did not detail the motive for the jersey number. There have been several notable Lakers players who have worn the No. 2 including Derek Fisher and more recently, Lonzo Ball. Quinn Cook switched from wearing the No. 2 during his tenure with the Lakers and advocated for the number being retired.
“No. 2 is Gianna’s number,” Cook told The Athletic’s Shams Charania in January 2020. “I feel it should be retired. It’s hers.”
Drummond gave fans their first glimpse of himself wearing a Lakers jersey with an Instagram post following his signing.
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Drummond Averaged a Double-Double with the Cavs This Season
This marks the fourth jersey number Drummond has worn over his career. Most recently, Drummond wore No. 3 with the Cavaliers adding to No. 1 and No. 0 the center had during his eight seasons with the Pistons.
Drummond had been linked to the Lakers since before the NBA trade deadline, but the center’s $28.7 million salary made a potential deal with the Cavaliers improbable. Drummond’s buyout allowed the Lakers to get a massive discount by signing the center to the veteran’s minimum. Drummond averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 25 starts for the Cavs this season before the team shut down the center prior to the trade deadline.
Vogel: ‘We’re All Thrilled to Add Andre Drummond’
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is optimistic that Drummond can be an instant impact player in Los Angeles. The newest addition stands a good chance to start for the Lakers at center. Marc Gasol’s tenure with the Lakers has had mixed results, while Montrezl Harrell admits his preference is to come off the bench.
“We’re all thrilled to add Andre Drummond, a player of his caliber, to our team,” Vogel noted, per ESPN. “He’s one of the best centers in the league, someone that every defensive coordinator is going to have to account for and to figure out how to handle him when they’re trying to slow down [Anthony Davis] and [LeBron James] and our guards. I think he’s going to give us a big lift in the immediate future, and then obviously when we get going. He can dominate the game on both sides of the ball. His physicality is something you have to account for.”
Vogel noted there is not a specific date set for when Drummond will make his Lakers’ debut. We can expect an updated timeline for Drummond’s arrival in the coming days.