Few professional sports franchises can rival the the rich tradition of the Los Angeles Lakers but one that has enjoyed a similar history of success is the Dodgers. Both teams have naturally established a close relationship, behind themed nights and other initiatives.
During any given MLB offseason it’s not uncommon to spot Dodgers players taking in a game at Staples Center. That was true over this past winter, as Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig were among those to indulge on Lakers basketball.
Kemp has long been a fan, and openly stated he would have pursued a career in a basketball had he not become an All-Star Major Leaguer. So it was natural that Kemp was asked about the Lakers during a recent appearance MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk.”
Although he was hesitant to answer, Kemp named Lakers legend Kobe Bryant over Magic Johnson and LeBron James as his choice to build a team around:
“Come on, man. I don’t know, man. I mean, you could start a franchise with all three of those players. I never got to watch Magic play. Of course, unbelievable player. I got to see Kobe play a lot, so I’d have to go with Kobe. I mean, I got to see him play a lot. It was amazing. He used to make it look really easy.”
Bryant and James have long been intertwined and compared, and even more so since James signed with the Lakers. Meanwhile, Johnson is of course recognized as one of the franchise’s greatest players, and he just so happens to be part of the Dodgers ownership group.
While some may believe there’s a rivalry between Bryant and James, the five-time champion has been nothing but supportive of the Lakers’ newest franchise cornerstone.