This year has been a whirlwind. However, one day that many will never forget is the moment the world lost Kobe Bryant. The basketball player tragically lost his life on January 26, 2020, after being involved in a helicopter crash. The world is still healing from the news. Amazingly, it seems that Kobe Bryant’s presence will still be with the Lakers this season.
Leaving his mark
Kobe Bryant was a huge part of the Lakers – and he won’t be forgotten anytime soon. His team is still learning how to cope without their teammate and friend. Perhaps that’s why they always end each break with “One, two, three, Mamba!”? This is in honor of Kobe’s nickname on the court, Black Mamba, a name that still rings around the court. The basketball star always lived his life by the mantra: “Leave a legacy.” This is something the Lakers have incorporated into their new, broken team as it’s become the marketing slogan and a rally to shout throughout the playoffs.
A jersey with meaning
Kobe Bryant teamed up with Nike three years ago to design personalized jerseys for the Lakers. The snakeskin print was a nod to his Mamba fame, and it’s going to stay a part of the Lakers throughout the 2020 season. The team knew they wanted to wear the jerseys as they honored their fallen teammate. Some have stitched the initials “KB” into their jerseys, while others wear the number 2 as a way to honor Gianna Bryant. The teen also lost her life alongside her father and once wore the number 2 jersey on her own basketball team.
Wearing the sneakers
The Lakers don’t want to grab any old pair of Kobe 5s. No, they want to ensure they are all wearing the purple and gold pair in honor of Kobe Bryant. Most of the players wear them throughout their training sessions and games, with assistant coach Jason Kidd sporting a pair of his own on the sidelines. Even players from other teams, such as Heat players, have been seen in their own pair of Kobe sneakers in recent weeks.
A push to succeed
If there is one thing the Lakers remember, it’s Kobe Bryant’s determination to win. The basketball legend was at the top of his career when he tragically passed away. Now, the rest of his team is determined to take his memory all the way. The Lakers have dominated the majority of their games so far this season. However, they won’t be satisfied until they reach the top. The NBA finals are just a few days away, and there is all to play for. Winning the title will be the team’s ultimate way of honoring Kobe Bryant with their first title since his passing.
Lakers fan or not, there is a good chance that Kobe will leave a lasting mark on the world of basketball for many years to come. For now, it seems that Kobe Bryant’s presence will still be with the Lakers as they battle to make him proud one more time.