The Lakers may be the biggest losers of the bubble environment. Not only did LeBron admit they are having problems on and off the court, adapting to the environment, but they don’t get to play in Staples.
The most talked-about part of that is the fact that the expected Lakers - Clippers showdown would not only save both teams a lot of travel, but it would effectively be seven home games for the Lakers. I like the Clippers “LA Our Way” angle and that they are trying to appeal to the less flashy part of LA. But even if they succeed, those fans can’t afford playoff tickets. Just ask fans in Oakland once the Warriors started winning.
But there’s another reason playing Staples would be special for the Lakers. With this damn COVID situation, everything seems like it happened years ago. It’s only been 204 days since the basketball world experienced collective heartbreak. The first game in Staples without Kobe was one of the most emotional basketball games ever. We can only imagine what the Playoffs would look like. Still, the Lakers will have Kobe with them in the Playoffs.
Nike is releasing the jersey on 8/24 in line with their entire “Mamba Week.” It will start on Sunday, Aug. 23, which would have been Kobe’s 42nd birthday. This will be the first time Nike has released Bryant’s signature sneakers or jerseys since his death in January. According to sources, Nike’s done all this in coordination with the Bryant family.
“As a part of championing Kobe’s legacy, the Nike Foundation will make a $1 million donation to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of Kobe and Gianna.”
Players are superstitious about a lot of things and find motivation in all sorts of situations. It doesn’t get more intense than playing for the Lakers in a Black Mamba jersey.