LA Kings Retired #23 for Dustin Browncsudhbulletin March 8, 2023 0 COMMENTS
Dustin Brown’s statue outside of the Crypto.com Arena. Photo by Anthony Arroyo
By Anthony Arroyo Staff Reporter
The Los Angeles Kings number 23 jersey will never be worn again as the franchise retired the right winger Dustin Brown’s jersey after a legendary 18-year career, last month.
Brown was drafted 13th overall by the Kings in the 2003 NHL draft and spent his entire career with the franchise until his retirement in 2022. In that span, he played in 1,296 games (the most by any player in Kings history), scored 712 points, and recorded an NHL record of 3,632 hits. He served as captain from 2008 to 2016 and led the team to two Stanley Cup Championships in 2012 and 2014. Brown is only the seventh player in Kings history to have his jersey retired since the club’s inception in 1967, and joins Wayne Gretzky, who many consider the greatest hockey player of all time, in having the honor.
After many years of mediocrity for the Kings, Brown helped revitalize the franchise’s culture along with teammates such as Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick. In the 2009-10 season, they snapped a six-year-long playoff drought. In the 2011-12 season, Brown and the Kings made history by becoming the first eighth seed in North American sports to win the championship. Another Stanley Cup Championship victory followed in 2014. Brown led the Kings to two championships in the span of three years, which is something, not even the great Wayne Gretzky accomplished.
By his teammates, coaches, and opponents, Brown was described as a hard-hitting, tough, and fierce competitor. “Pride, passion, and power was the Kings’ slogan when I arrived here in 2009, but when you think about it, they sound like the three adjectives I’d use to describe Browny’s career,” said Rob Scuderi, member of the 2012 Kings championship team. “His helmet was practically on sideways from all the contact. He was power personified.”
During his retirement speech, Brown credited all of his teammates and coaches for his success and accomplishments. “I always wanted to retire a King,” said Brown. “So as I stand here today with my jersey being raised to the rafters, my only hope is that in the future when you look up and see it hanging there, you think not of my achievements, but of our achievements.”
Not only did Brown credit his teammates, but he also acknowledged the Kings fans, who have been through every high and low with the team. “On June 11th, 2012, I became the first King to lift the Stanley Cup,” said Brown. “A decade later, I know it wasn’t just my dream, but it was every Kings fan’s dream. And accomplishing our dream in front of you on home ice is something we will share for the rest of our lives.”
Along with the jersey retirement, Brown was also honored with a statue outside of the Crypto.com Arena and joins the likes of LA sports legends including Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, and fellow Kings legend Wayne Gretzky. With his legendary career, Dustin Brown has etched his spot into LA sports history forever.