Who Is the Weak Link in the Lakers Starting Line Up?

The Los Angeles Lakers dispatched the Portland Trail Blazers in 5 games but do they have a weak link in the starting 5 that could be exposed in the later rounds?

After an initial blip in game one of the opening series against the Trail Blazers, the Lakers were able to rattle off 4 wins back to back to back to back to stamp their ticket to the next round of the playoffs.

After game 1, skepticism seemed to creep into Laker Nation. Are we as good as we thought? Is this team just LeBron James and Anthony Davis and a bunch of bench guys? Do we have what it takes to win the Larry O’Brien trophy this year?

The 4 games following Game 1 went a long way in settling the nerves for fans of the purple and gold and while the Lakers stumbled initially, they seem to have found their footing within the playoffs and now look a really good bet to make it to the NBA Finals.

One of the main criticisms that many fans of the purple and gold voiced (apart from the Lakers’ shooting woes in the bubble) was Coach Frank Vogel’s utter refusal to alter the starting line-up.

While he was proven right as the team convincingly won the series, the thought of whether there is a weak link in the starting line-up persists.

Can or should the Lakers make a change to the starting line-up that could potentially improve the squad even more? Or should they stick with the same players who got them to the dance in the 1st place?

Here are the top 3 players not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis who can potentially be considered a weak spot in the Lakers starting lineup.

Cover image credit: Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images.

NEXT: 3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Can Markieff Morris Help the Lakers Play Small Ball Come Playoff Time?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers family Markieff Morris has had a good start to life as a Laker. Could the addition of Morris give the Lakers a chance to try out small ball line-ups with Morris at the 5?

This season for the Los Angeles Lakers has been different, in so many ways.
They no longer have the young core, they are no longer a lottery team and after times of turmoil and drama, this Lakers team truly seems to be a family.

Losing the late great Kobe Bryant has really brought the Lakers community as a whole a lot closer and it is a truly beautiful thing to see.

Having a group of teammates who like, respect, and want to be around each
other is rare. With so many personalities on a team, it is so easy for one bad
egg to ruin the bunch and this Lakers group genuinely seems to have a bond together.

A significant amount of props must be given to the likes of LeBron James,
Anthony Davis, Rob Pelinka, and Frank Vogel.

As some of the main leaders of the Lakers organization, they have truly set
the tone for the entire team and it speaks to all of their leadership qualities
that this team has remained so tight-knit.

With all that being said, for new signing Markieff Morris to join the
Lakers, they had to let go of DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie is
expected to stay around the practice facility, get his body right, and
potentially come back to the Lakers next season.

With Cousins no longer on the roster, Morris is now added to the forward
rotation.

NEXT: Markieff Morris


Is Kyle Kuzma’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers coming to an end?

Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

This season has gone according to plan so far for the Los Angeles Lakers. They are in the hunt for a title, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are playing terrific and the team is winning. But for 3rd-year power forward Kyle Kuzma, this season has been nothing short of underwhelming for the budding star.

The year is 2019, the date: June 12th. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka calls newly crowned New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin:

Rob Pelinka: John 3:16, Chapter 3, verse 16. ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

David Griffin: Just once Rob I wish you would say Hi or Hello… wait… Are you comparing me to God and Anthony Davis to Jesus Rob?

RP: No….. biblical quotes are just…. you know… kinda my thing.

DG:  Whatever dude. I’m guessing you’re calling about Anthony again? The price hasn’t changed we want Lonzo, Brandon, Josh, Kyle, a bunch of picks and the rights to your next child.

RP: Hmmmm……. Kuz is a no go.

DG: Why keep Kuz? You would be getting Anthony Davis, they play the same position?

RP: We just love his mental make up. 

DG: Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep Brandon or Lonzo? You don’t have many play-makers outside of LeBron.

RP: MENTAL MAKE-UP!!!!!!!!

DG: (Hangs up)

RP: Hello? Hello?????

Well, that’s what I took from Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweet.

The trade has since gone through and the Los Angeles Lakers stuck to their guns and kept Kyle Kuzma.

Keeping Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball made more sense for the purple and gold as they are both capable play-makers, both are good defenders and each has significant upside.

Kuzma is now the final disciple of the young core era.

Next: Kuzma Upside

3 Stars the Los Angeles Lakers Can Trade For

Los A (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)ngeles Lakers
(Image/Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis and LeBron James have changed the Lakers from a lottery team to a championship contender in the space of a year. Could a 3rd star set them up for a dynasty?

With the trade that sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and numerous picks, to the New Orleans Pelicans for superstar power forward Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers set themselves up for the future.

While setting themselves up for the future, they also had a firm eye on winning right now. With superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the purple and gold have ample opportunity to compete for a championship this season, and win their 17th NBA Championship.

The Lakers seemed confident in landing Kawhi Leonard as their 3rd star. But he joined city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers then seemed confident that Kyle Kuzma was going to be the 3rd star. That also did not work out. While there is still potential in Kuzma, his spot in the starting line-up is unlikely with LeBron James and Anthony Davis both playing in the position in which Kuzma plays.

The thought process all along for the purple and gold is to have a trio of superstars capable of helping the team win for the short, medium, and long term.

While the Lakers have a firm eye on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021, the likelihood that he leaves all that money on the table after COVID-19 dwindles each day.

So how can the Los Angeles Lakers land the 3rd star they desperately want?

Here are 3 options the Los Angeles Lakers could take to land their 3rd Star. Click through the below link to navigate through the options.

NEXT: Jrue Holiday

Los Angeles Lakers: Draft Options for 2020 NBA Draft

Los Angeles Lakers
(Image/David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images)

From Draft lottery hell to potential NBA Finals contenders, the past 12 months have seen some huge changes for the Los Angeles Lakers. Can the purple and gold find another diamond in the rough with their 1st round pick this year?

What a difference a year makes. On May 14th, 2019, the Lakers were given a gift in the form of the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. This pick, which later turned into De’Andre Hunter, was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans. Along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and several future drafts pick considerations and swaps. for superstar Power Forward Anthony Davis.

A deal that has benefited both sides so far. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the purple and gold have a real shot at winning a ring this year. The bad news, which cannot be considered bad news, is the Lakers will not have a lottery pick.

Any Laker fan would trade a chance at a ring for a lottery pick in a heartbeat. With the Lakers potentially picking in the late ’20s or hopefully 30th overall, it lowers their chances of landing a player who is going to come in and make a large impact.

Well, that is what most teams think when they are picking that late in the 1st round. The Lakers have made it a habit to pick players at the end of the 1st round and 2nd who have outplayed their draft selection.

Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Mortiz Wagner, Thomas Bryant, Isaac BongaIvica Zubac, and Svi Mykhailiuk have all contributed to the Lakers and have also been valuable pieces to each of the teams they now play for.

Can the Lakers find another diamond in the rough? With the scouting department the franchise has and the proven track record of finding good players late in the draft, I wouldn’t bet against the purple and gold.

With that being said, select the below link to see players the Los Angeles Lakers can target in the NBA 2020 Draft.

NEXT: Tre Jones

Should the Lakers Take Another Shot at DeMarcus Cousins?

(Image/Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA season has been put on indefinite hold due to the spread and danger of COVID-19. If or when the season restarts, should the Lakers consider bringing DeMarcus Cousins back into the fold?

We are in scary and uncertain times with COVID-19 running rampant worldwide. It is a time for sports to be on hiatus and for everyone to take precautions regarding their own health. As well as the health of those around them.

With the NBA in turmoil due to the pandemic, the season has rightfully been postponed until further notice. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the greater NBA community are looking at what is necessary to stop the spreading of the virus.

With the season pushed back, it moves the NBA Finals further back in the calendar. Due to the delay in the schedule, would it be a good idea for the purple and gold to bring back DeMarcus Cousins?

If the season had gone on as previously intended, the answer was a rightful NO by the Lakers. Cousins has been through injury hell the last 2 years. Forcing him to come back when he needs the time to rehab would have been wrong for both his physical and mental well being.

NBA Free Agency Rumors: DeMarcus Cousins Was Informed By Lakers He ...
(Image/Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

The Lakers made the right choice by bringing in Markieff Morris and releasing Cousins. It released the pressure on Cousins’ shoulders to rush back this season and make an impact. It allowed him to focus on getting himself right and preparing for the next season. Hopefully with the Lakers.

The Lakers are ideally placed to see how he is doing physically. Since his release, he has still been in the building, working out at the practice facility, rehabbing with the training staff/doctors, and getting the best care possible.

If the training staff feel confident that Cousins’ body is ready to get back to work then it should be a no brainer for the purple and gold. In time, if the Lakers were to get back a fully healthy, fully focused, and in-shape Cousins then the rest of the league would be looking over their shoulder, for sure.

Easily one of the most dominant big men in the league since Shaquille O’Neal, Cousins has bulldozing through his competition since he first set foot in the league. Blessed with ideal size, athleticism, and footwork, the 29-year-old has been putting opposing centers to the sword for years now.

Cousins is so skilled that he can beat his opponent in a number of ways. With his back to the basket, he can use his strength to drill a hole in players’ chests and back them down until they tap out. If that doesn’t work he can use his vast array of post moves and finesse his way to the basket. He can also power through players and finish with monstrous dunks.

Cousins’ outside game isn’t to be disrespected either. Capable of consistently making shots all over the floor, he has a well-rounded offensive skill-set that lends to that of the modern big man.

One area of his game that does not get enough respect is his passing ability though. He is exceptional passing out of double-teams and hitting the open man in the corner. Dealing with the pressure of a double-team can cause most big men to panic and turn the ball over but Cousins, and Lakers superstar Anthony Davis, are exceptional at reading the defense. Understanding that the double team is coming and finding the open teammate for an easy bucket.

Watching Davis and Cousins in New Orleans together can give fans a taste of what could be expected from the duo if they both suit up for the Lakers in the near future.

While it may not be fair to expect Cousins to get back to his Sacramento Kings/ New Orleans Pelicans past-self. If he can get to 70% of what he was, then the Lakers will be landing themselves an extremely valuable player. Potentially a 3rd star.


Check out Lakers UK’s podcast The Lake Lake Show on all podcast platforms. Including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

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Potential NBA Season Cancellation Could Lead to NBA Draft Royal Rumble

(Image/AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)

With the NBA season in jeopardy, what will happen to the NBA draft process? If a team cannot be named as a champion, can a team be granted the 1st overall pick with games still to be played?

The NBA is in the midst of incredibly uncertain times, with no guarantee of the season continuing and no indication yet that it’s going to end prematurely. It’s currently a wait and see game that we all must play.

For fans of the purple and gold, the league-wide hiatus could not have come at a worse time. Superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis were in frightening form, with James staking his claim for the MVP trophy.

The Los Angeles Lakers team as a whole were beginning to fire on all cylinders and were rounding into playoff mode with a quarter of the season to go. Then COVID-19 strikes, and here we are.

For the record, the NBA and all major sports across the world made the right call in halting their respective seasons. The health and safety of players, staff, owners, arena workers, and the fans are of the utmost importance.

The NBA should be commended for the steps it took as one of the first leagues globally to postpone games and put the safety of others above making profit. With so much uncertainty around the league, fans of the association were waiting to hear about what is going to happen to the season.

We finally got some clarification in which way the league is leaning and it doesn’t look good. Brian Windhorst of ESPN dropped some Woj -evel bombs in a recent appearance on SportsCenter that has caused ripples around the basketball world.

“It’s been a bad week. I think there was optimism about progress a week ago, and some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen. A big factor was what happened in China where they halted the return of their league, and one of the big reasons is because they really believed if they just tested the player’s temperature all the time then it would work, and the Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country. And they have just slammed the brakes on sports.

The talks between the player’s union and the league this week — I’ve talked to both sides of this issue — and it’s clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. They don’t have to do that yet, and the way they’re negotiating they’re leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league. They are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now.”

For fans of the purple and gold, this is a potential hammer-blow. For a season with so much promise and with a chance to win a Championship, losing the season with no chance of winning a ring could be a hammer-blow for the Lakers short-term aspirations, but if it ensures the health and safety of people and saves lives then it must be done.

With no clear NBA rules or regulations regarding the cancellation of an NBA season, it is up to those in power to make swift and decisive decisions. In order to put forth what is to happen for the rest of the season.

One major NBA event that could be affected majorly is the NBA lottery. With roughly around a quarter of the season left to play, can the league uphold the lottery standings as they stand today?

NBA analysts decide: LeBron and AD or Kawhi and PG?
(Image/Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

With give or take 20 games left in the season and an ability for teams in the lottery to potentially win games, general wisdom would stipulate that if no-one is crowned the NBA Champion, then no-one should be given the greatest odds of receiving the number 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

With the Golden State Warriors currently the worst team in the NBA based on record, should they be guaranteed a larger chance at the top pick?

With superstar Steph Curry back in the line-up for the Warriors before COVID-19 struck, there is a real chance that they could have won more games to finish the season and could have easily played themselves out of the worst record in the league.

So what could the NBA do with the draft lottery if the season were to end today? A fair and potentially interesting way for the league to bring some much needed entertainment to the league would be to give each and every team in the NBA the exact same chance at getting the number 1 overall pick.

With the 2020 NBA Draft set to be one of the weaker drafts in recent memory, this could be an extremely interesting way to inject some much needed life into the off-season.

If put to a vote, there is a high likelihood that each team would vote in favor of making this draft a Royal Rumble, “anyone can win it” style event. With only the teams in the top-5 worst teams potentially kicking up a stink about potentially losing their high draft pick.

It sounds like a fair solution to unfair end to a season for so many.

Each and every team with the same chance of winning the lottery. Whether they draft a franchise altering player or have an extremely valuable trade piece.

The NBA is in uncharted waters right now, with no provisions or verbiage in the Collective Bargaining Agreement in regards to what happens if a pandemic halts play. The NBA and the players association will have to decide what is going to happen going forward.

Hopefully a time comes very soon where basketball is back and the game we love is played with the health and safety of everyone involved.


Check out Lakers UK’s podcast The Lake Lake Show on all podcast platforms. Including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

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If Bought Out, Could Wayne Ellington Make His Way Back to the Lakers?

(Image/Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Lakers are riding high in the West. With the buy-out market just beginning, could the Los Angeles Lakers target someone like Wayne Ellington if he becomes available?

The Los Angeles Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings, they have two All-NBA performers/MVP candidates in Anthony Davis and LeBron James and have a strong supporting cast helping them along the way.

The world isn’t crumbling around us Lakers Nation. This is a good team and the overreactions to losses need to stop. Now that’s been said, back to the article.

The Lakers spent the entirety of the trade deadline looking to make their roster stronger in areas in which they are potentially weak. A great focus was put on finding a play-making point guard who might be able to take the burden off James at times during the season and to quarterback the offense when the 35-year-old is off the floor.

The Lakers had earmarked Darren Collison as a potential addition to the roster, with interesting seemingly mutual from Collison and his camp, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Unfortunately, hopes were dashed when Collison and his team U-Turned and he decided to remain retired.

With the trade deadline now passed, the purple and gold will have to put all their energy into finding more depth via the buy-out and free agency market, both of which are slim pickings at this moment in time.

With the market stagnant right now, a lot of stock needs to be put in players that will potentially be bought out. One potential player that could be on the market very soon is New York Knicks guard Wayne Ellington.

With the Lakers having so many guards on their roster including Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Danny Green, it is fair to ask why would the Lakers need another guard?

Good question.

In Green and Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers have two players capable of playing minutes at the Small Forward position. With LeBron James currently fielding most if not all the minutes at this position, it is fair to say that he needs help and rest coming into the 2nd half of the season.

Allowing Green and Caldwell-Pope to take some minutes at the position allows for James to take breaks and stay healthy for the playoff run ahead.

Adding someone like Ellington allows for one or both of Green and Caldwell-Pope to get minutes at both the 2 and 3 spots without the quality of the shooting guard play being diluted with the juggling of minutes.

So what does Wayne Ellington offer the Lakers? Well, 3-point shooting.

While he is having a down year in term of 3-point shooting, Wayne Ellington is one person who opposing teams do not want to see get hot.

With his ability to catch-and-shoot, come off screens and shoot off the dribble, Ellington would offer the Lakers a consistent 3-point shooter. He would replace Troy Daniels on the depth chart.

Daniels was expected to do the above upon joining the Lakers this season but has yet to truly fire on all cylinders and could very easily be the 1st player out the door.

While Ellington’s numbers have been down this season, a significant portion of the blame can be put on the total mess that is the New York Knicks.

With the franchise in disarray, it is hardly a conducive environment for a player to do their best work. Put Ellington on a contender and let’s see what he can do.


Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.

Fanatics UK: http://tinyurl.com/y4vjv32b and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!

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Remembering Kobe Bryant Roundtable: Part 2

(Image/David Crane/Southern California News Group)

We return with part two of the remembering Kobe Bryant round table series. With the out pour of emotion within the Los Angeles Lakers community over the last week, a number of die-hard fans wished to speak about their love, respect and sorrow for the passing of the


Q: What emotions are you currently feeling now about the loss of Kobe?

Matt Evans: “A few days have passed now and the feelings have settled. But it’s still a shock how this could happen to such an iconic, influential human being. Along with his incredibly talented young daughter. Kobe was single-handedly the reason I got into basketball, why my passion for the Lakers is so big, and why every opportunity in basketball has been presented to myself. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bryant family and also to those of the other 7 involved in the tragedy.” 

Jamie Cox: “I am still really struggling to get my head around it all. There are brief moments at work or home when other things take over and I forget for a few minutes but then I go back on social media and it all becomes far too real again. Going to take some time for it all to sink in.”

Nick Jones: “I have gone through stages of hurting, sadness, confusion, and emptiness. I’m starting to accept it now but still get emotional and tearful when seeing the players and ex-teammates reacting the way they have.”

Conor Hayward: “Kobe’s passing has affected me in a way that I didn’t see possible, I never thought I’d cry over the death of someone I’d never met before but I guess that’s a true testament for what he meant to me and for what he did for all of our lives. Kobe’s passing will go down as one of those horrible engraved memories that you can never budge, I’ll always remember where I was and what I was doing when the news was broken to me. It’s been 5 full days since this tragedy occurred and I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that the pain his loss brings will never go but in time the Laker Nation family will grow and adapt and use his passing as motivation to strive for more.”

Mark Burland: “I’ve had a few days to digest this now. We “knew” Kobe because of basketball. He was a phenomenal player. But we said goodbye to Kobe the baller on his terms when he dropped 60. What makes me sad now is to see the reactions of those who knew him. Above that, those who were close to him – Rob, Jeannie, etc. And then above that still, to think about the pain inflicted on his family. That isn’t personal to me. Knowing Kobe the basketball player wasn’t the same as knowing Kobe the dad, husband, son, friend. I feel deeply sad for those that knew him that way, and the same for his daughter too.”

Steve Foster: “Man, pure shock still… I’m sure we’ve all suffered loss before, be it family, friends or even a celebrity figure you look up to… but even for somebody I didn’t know personally, this feels different… maybe it was the way he went… taken so early and completely out of the blue… when somebody passes away from illness, etc, obviously, it’s still gut-wrenching but, in a way, you can kind of come to terms with it before they go.

You grieve with them, you make the most of their time and look back on their life but you kind of know its coming so you get the chance to say goodbye… this was a total shock, like a bad dream. My thoughts are with his beautiful family, I can’t imagine how tough it is for them losing a husband/father and an amazing daughter/sister.”

Image result for kobe bryant final game"
(Image/Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)

Q: What is your fondest Kobe Bryant memory?

Matt: “Mine would be going to see him play, for the first and last time. I was studying in New York at the time and a friend and I took a Mega bus up to Boston for the Lakers-Celtics game. I was truly in awe watching my basketball idol play. We got blown out but I didn’t care. I got to see Kobe play! I will carry that with me for life. The second-best memory (if you don’t mind me sharing) is his final game. 60 POINTS. WOW. I don’t think I need to say much more about that game!” 

Jamie: “Sadly, I didn’t have an NBA League Pass during the Championship seasons as only had this for the last few years. My fondest memory is, therefore, the 60-point game in his farewell game against the Jazz in 2016. I got up to watch it live and couldn’t believe how he finished the game, it was mesmerising. He put every single last drop of energy into his performance and went out the complete winner that he was.” 

Nick: “100% the shots vs Phoenix in 2006 playoffs to take the game into overtime and then the game-winner. It was my very first game watching from start to finish on Sky even though I’d followed Lakers for years. I fell in love with basketball and cemented my Laker fandom.”

Conor: “Wow, where do you even start with this question? I could sit here and write about all those spectacular moments piece by piece but for me, it would be Kobe’s final game against Utah, emotions were high that evening, I finished work at about 11 pm and came home ready for the 3 am tip-off, I knew from the get-go this that was going to be a mix of emotions but who could write something like that?! 60 POINTS, 60 in his final game.

I watch that game over and over at least every 6 months or so but in the last few days, I’ve probably studied his footwork from that game to a key. I loved Kobe for many reasons and one of them was because he knew how to put on a show and on April 13th, 2016 he rewrote history.”

Mark: “Easy, When Kobe compared DJ Mbenga to sloth from the Goonies.

“Hey you guys!”

Steve: “There are so many to think of, that’s one of the best things right now… scoring 81, the 5 championships, beating the Celtics(!), the friendship with Pau Gasol, the sheer, unstoppable, dynamic duo of Kobe & Shaq, the battles with some of the greatest to ever play the game… the list goes on and on! People throw the term ‘legend’ around pretty freely, but Kobe was, is and always will be a true legend.

I started playing basketball around 11 or 12 years old, at the time in the ’90s, I watched everything I could, never really supported one team, the Magic, the Bulls, Lakers, even the Knicks(!) were all good to watch. I decided to be a Laker fan the day Shaq signed, then this rookie straight from high school comes along, just a couple of years older than me… I watched some tapes and thought “this guy looks pretty good… going to be cool if he stays In LA with Shaq…” I never thought I’d be idolizing him and watching Kobe dominate the league for 20 years on my team!

His legacy will live on in the players today and the fans, that is something that doesn’t happen often,  if ever.”

Image result for kobe bryant oscar"
(Image/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Q: What did Kobe Bryant mean to the greater NBA community?

Matt: “Kobe was so much more than an NBA player. He was bigger than basketball. Yes, what he did on the court was incredible and inspiring. But he did a lot for charity, especially through the Make-a-Wish outlet. Which was special to follow along with. He was also an accomplished businessman, author, poet. The man even won an Oscar! That was just as, if not, even more, inspiring. But most importantly, he was an accomplished father. He loved his children and you can tell that they adored their father. It’s truly a tragedy.”

Jamie:  “To me, he is a complete god and hero to myself and all Laker fans but the last couple of days have shown how much he meant to the whole NBA community. Every single game played since the news broke has had some form of glowing tribute to him and for a team like the Mavs to say nobody will ever wear the number 24 again when he never even played for them shows how highly thought of he was by everyone in the game. I thought that was an amazing gesture from them.”

Nick: “Everything. You can see it on everyone’s faces at the start of games and every interview. Even those who didn’t play against him or didn’t see him play in his prime. He was a mentor, friend, and idol to a lot of people involved in the sport.”

Conor: “Kobe Bean Bryant was my generation’s signature player for the NBA, he was involved in any conversation that included the NBA greats and was name-dropped in every interview with NBA players past and present, he was an idol to so many. Sadly, a lot of the great stories are never told until that person is gone but some of the stories we’ve heard from players lately have just been incredible, Kobe would lend a helping hand to even his biggest ‘rival’ and would help train and workout with any prospect that showed that true Mamba Mentality.”

Mark: “Anthony Irwin mentioned this a few days ago. The NBA lost a true ambassador for the sport in Kobe. He could reach international audiences in a way few true American sports stars ever have. He studied the game, respected the game, elevated the game. He knew the game was bigger than himself, but also had the awareness to know that what he gave to the game had value too. He would have mentored many, many more players (male and female) I’m sure. Basketball suffered a great loss.”

Steve: “Competition and inspiration. That dogged determination to be the best left a mark on even the casual fan, everyone knows his name… Most of the current players styled their game on his and studied film of him, just like Kobe did with MJ and other greats… That alone is a testament to the man… he lives on in all of us, from the fans to the best athletes in the world.”

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(Image/Harry How/Getty Images)

Q: How should we all remember Kobe Bryant moving forward?

Matt: “That Mamba Mentality. To work hard, achieve your dreams, don’t let anybody doubt you, do what you love, and so on. They are a few lessons he taught me. A few of an endless amount. Kobe will live on through all of those that found inspiration in him. If we could adopt 1% of his mindset, we can achieve what we want in life. I thank Kobe for that and I will live by his words. I already did.” 

Jamie: “It’s very difficult at this time to feel anything other than grief but once that passes a bit, we should all remember Kobe as a truly amazing Basketball player and athlete who gave absolutely everything to his chosen profession with a drive and passion for it that has probably never been seen before.”

Nick: “As a brilliant basketball player, the hardest worker imaginable and an amazing father. He had an unrivalled love of the sport and his dedication has inspired generations.”

Conor: “In time I hope we can take this awful event and use it for good, this season and every season will be for Kobe. August 24th now has a whole new meaning. It’s a cliche when people say, “what would he want you to do?” But at this moment I truly believe that Kobe would want his family, his teammates and his fans to make peace with his loss and to strive for everything that we want in life, make your dreams a reality. It’s still early days and tonight’s game against Portland will be tough for everyone but we will get through this, his teammates will get through this, Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri will get through this, the Mamba will live on through every one of us.”

Mark: “His legacy is a player is secure. It was set years ago. I hope his legacy as father and mentor lives on through the Mamba academy and related charities. As Laker fans, we get to remember him as someone who helped bring great joy. He did it at the highest level, for one team, for nearly 2 decades. The statue had better be pretty amazing (and I hope it includes Gigi too). On that note – I hope that the Lakers figure out a way of retiring Gigi’s jersey. If the rest of the league decides to retire 24/8 I hope that happens organically – but I do think no one should ever be allowed to wear 24 or 8 at Staples (looking at you, Paul George).”

Steve: “Again, his legacy is there as an inspiration to current players and fans alike, whether you’re an athlete or an accountant, the ‘Mamba Mentality’ can inspire you to be the best person you can be. I know I’m going to continue to use it in my life, both professionally and personally… As a father, I want to do the best I can for my son and if I can be half the dad Kobe was to his kids I’ll be happy! Also, making sure my son knows Kobe’s name, even if the only time he says it out loud is when he throws his socks in the laundry bin, it’ll make me smile.”

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(Image/Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports)

Q: If you could give Kobe a message right now, what would you say?

Matt: “This segment could be never-ending, to be honest, but I would say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again. You made a young, wide-eyed, intrigued boy develop a passion for an incredible sport and franchise. One that was not a natural progression being from the UK. That has built many opportunities in the sport of basketball for myself. And I thank you for that. Also, just thank you for the memories. The countless on the court memories. You inspired many generations and will continue in years to come. We will never forget you.”

Jamie: “I’d probably just say thanks for being you and for being so great and for providing me and the Lakers Nation with a host of awesome memories that will live with us all forever. R.I.P Kobe.”

Nick: “You have been my idol for 15 years. I miss you more than words can express. You are a true inspiration to millions across the world. I love you man.”

Conor: “Kobe, thank you.

You meant more than you can ever imagine to me, the effect you had on my life wasn’t just like my favorite basketball player, it was more than that, you were my idol and I idolized everything you attempted and accomplished. I can’t even tell you how often I use the number 24 out of pure love, whether it be making a new username or even something as crazy as throwing done some money on the roulette table, 24 is always at the forefront of my mind. Did somebody ask me for two random colors? They’re getting purple and gold regardless of the choice. The point of what I’m trying to say is that I live and breathe the Lakers, not because of the colors, not because of the numbers not because of the location but because Kobe Bryant made me fall in love with the Lakers organization. 

We love and miss you every day and you’ll never be forgotten, thank you for the blood sweat and tears, thank you for being Kobe Bryant.”

Mark: “Impossible to say. I’m a religious person, I believe he will live again!”

Steve: “Thank you, for everything.”

Remembering Kobe Bryant Roundtable: Part 1

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(Image/Getty Images)

Here at Lakers Fanclub UK, we are mourning the loss of the larger than life, once in a generation talent, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe “Bean” Bryant. The loss of Kobe, his daughter Gianna and the 7 other souls that perished on Sunday 26th January 2020 has had a profound effect on the Lakers community and has every person who has heard about this tragedy hugging their loved ones a little bit tighter.

We have a group of die-hard Lakers fans who are understandably incredibly upset and, broken-hearted about the loss of Kobe. We love and respect every member of our Lakers community and felt it was our duty to allow some of the members of our team to express their grief to try and heal.

Rest in peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan.

 The nine victims of the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant have been pictured

Q: What emotions are you currently feeling now about the loss of Kobe?

Amandeep Rai: “I think it’s kind of setting in now that this isn’t a hoax that we see from TMZ. Suddenly a dark cloud has formed above my head where I can’t escape this feeling- I guess it’s grief that will drift off eventually but it’s still pretty raw at the moment.”

Cole Pollard: “Still raw. I’m constantly going between being numb and crying. I just keep going back to it not being fair in my head. The man Kobe Bryant gave us so so much. He did not deserve this.

On Sunday night, a couple of hours after the news broke, I was scrolling through twitter trying to take in what was happening. The basketball world falling to its knees. Then I saw it, a video of a helicopter tail spinning and crashing into the Calabasas hills. Oh, how I wish I never saw that video, it keeps replaying in my head. All I can think is the panic and chaos those poor souls went through before impact. I hope they can rest now. And yet I can’t let Kobe rest.

As I type this it’s 1:30 in the morning, I have work at 8 tomorrow. Yet I am sat in my living room no thought of going to bed. Watching the 81 he gave us. I tear up with every shot he makes. One, in particular, 1 minute 15 seconds left in the 3rd Kobe makes a steal as Toronto tries to advance the ball, he controls it and throws it down hard on the rim. That embodies Kobe, he made it look easy. But it wasn’t. It was his hunger and drive to be the greatest ever that made everything he did look so effortless. Yet you could tell it was so exhausting.”

Christopher Sherwood: “I can’t sugar coat it. I feel empty. Kobe was always an escape for me from the harsh reality of real life. No matter how tough the day, I knew I could stick on the Laker game and there was a fairly good chance he could cheer me up. Losing him, especially like this, is a harsh reminder of how short life is.”

Jonathan Kiernan: “I felt physically sick when I heard the terrible news about Kobe Bryant. He has been my idol for 20 years, I have grown up with him and have become an adult with him. I had always thought that Kobe would still be around long into my older years and he would be a Bill Russell esque figure in the NBA, dropping pearls of wisdom and making sure that every player he comes into contact with knows what has come before them.”

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Q: What is your fondest Kobe Bryant memory?

Amandeep: “My fondest Kobe memory was when his jerseys were retired, I don’t know why but I felt that scene gave us all closure and kind of somewhat closed his chapter and era in the Lakers, a fitting send-off.”

Cole: “The final game, he gave us everything man, emptied the tank. I remember it as I hadn’t fallen deep for basketball yet. I remember thinking to myself, tonight is gonna be something special, something real.

Up until that point, I would rarely stay up for games. But that night I went to bed early, I must have set about six alarms, and I got up and watched that magic. I remember the chills as he got hot. The pure elation as he came up, went around that screen and gave us, the Lakers, the NBA, the World, one last game-winner.”

Christopher: “It would have to be being in the building with my dad when he dropped 62 on Dirk and the Mavs in just three quarters. The energy inside Staples that night was simply incredible. It was almost as if every shot he took was certain to go in.

A close second is winning the 2010 finals and watching my best friend (a Celtics fan) slump out of my living room into the night at 5 am to embark on a 30-minute miserable walk home. Victory never tasted sweeter.” 

Jonathan: “My fondest memory of Kobe has to be winning his 5th ring against the Boston Celtics in 2010. Kobe did not shoot well that game but he helped anyway he could by grabbing numerous boards and playing tough defense.

Watching the final buzzer sound and Kobe mounting the scorer’s table will forever be etched into my memory as long as I live.”

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Q: What did Kobe Bryant mean to the greater NBA community?

Amandeep: “Kobe Bryant far surpassed the NBA community, surpassed borders/cultures and sports. He was and still is an icon. His sporting career speaks for itself, but his mentality and his attitude to being a parent is something everyone can learn from.”

Cole: “All you have to do is watch the first 32 seconds of every game and you have your answer. It moves me to see the teams and the fans, that Kobe relished in upsetting all these years, put all that aside and recognize that a Father, a Husband, a Son, a Brother, a Teammate, and an Icon perished tragically and suddenly on Sunday. Not to mention a young woman who was going to change the way the world looks at the WNBA.

This is more than Basketball, this is a sign that life is short. It comes and goes in a moment. It doesn’t matter what you have in any other aspect of life. If you have family, you have everything. Kobe had that. The world knows and appreciates that.”

Christopher: “He was a legend in every sense of the word. Larger than life. You only have to look around the association to see the impact Kobe had. Today’s players grew up on Kobe (as I did) and his imprint is on so much all around the league. It will be interesting to see what the league does to commemorate him moving forward.”

Jonathan: “From the sheer outpour of emotion in the NBA community it is incredibly clear to see how highly thought of he was not just in the NBA but worldwide.

Kobe gave a helping hand to those willing to learn. He demanded excellence from each player he spoke to or any person who wished to improve their focus, leadership or dedication to their craft.

The NBA has lost a titan of the game. I am firmly a believer that they should make Kobe the NBA logo. A Laker legend replacing a Laker legend (Jerry West, who drafted Kobe) as the logo. It would be poetic and a terrific and long-lasting recognition of a player who gave everything he had to the game of basketball.”

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Q: How should we all remember Kobe Bryant moving forward?

Amandeep: “A loving father, teacher, guardian, and student also. The greatest laker to put on a uniform and perhaps the most driven athlete/writer that I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

Cole: “Mamba Mentality, we all know it. Its a way of life, a roadmap of a champion. Kobe was the pure embodiment of a champion. Never would he hide from the greatest moments. Even as a young man he would try his best to rise to any occasion. We all know about the air balls. I remember Jerry West said “If somebody would have shot an airball on our team, and shot a second one. They ain’t gonna shoot the third one. He was fearless. I think that’s one of the things that spurred him to greatness, he wasn’t going to allow himself to fail.” And so as he grew as a player, as a man. he no longer had to try, he just did. It just happened. Suddenly a kid who came straight out of high school was a man. and that man was a stone-cold killer, with a glassy stare to boot. I urge anyone reading this to continue his legacy. Any decision you have to make. Ask yourself,
‘What Would Kobe Do?’.”

Christopher: “As an inspiration. Not just as a basketball player, but as a father and a human being. If you apply his work ethic to any task you need to in the future there’s a pretty good chance you will succeed.”

Jonathan: “An easy answer would be to say that he should be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time. A person who pushed the game to new heights and who didn’t waste a single ounce of talent he had.

That’s the easy and popular answer.

I prefer to remember Kobe as a family man, as a person who loved his family with his whole heart and who took greater pride in seeing his family happy than he ever did winning any game or award.”

 Q: If you could give Kobe a message right now, what would you say?

Amandeep: “Thank you, Kobe, learning about you and your mindset allowed me to prosper in my own life, I thank you for the years you gave in the purple and gold, and I thank you for becoming a role model in which I can focus on in my industry. You will be forever remembered, we will carry on your legacy. Rest in peace GOAT.”

Cole: “I spoke to him through my medium on Sunday night. If I could speak to him again, writing this 24 hours later. I would tell him “I’ll come to speak to you again soon” and I’d tell him again “Thank You, Love You, Cole.”

Christopher: “Thank you for all the memories and for bringing so much joy to my life. To say you will be missed will be an incredible understatement. Love you Mamba x”

Jonathan: “Thank you, Kobe, for giving me one of the greatest passions in my life. Your ability to push through adversity, injury and overwhelming odds has given so many people hope to push past the difficulties in their life and come out the other side wiser and better people.

You taught people to dream big but you have got to work harder than everyone else in the room for it. Just know that the Lakers community will never forget your name and when my time comes to visit the pearly gates, just know, I got next.”

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