It seems as though the 2017-18 NBA season just started, but more than a quarter of the games have already been played and the end of the year is imminent. With Christmas just around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers will be celebrating and commemorating the holiday season in a number of ways in which fans can participate.
The best option, of course, is to make it to Staples Center on Dec. 25 to watch what is sure to be an exciting Christmas Day battle between the Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who feature the high scoring trio of Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins. With the addition of Butler over the summer, Minnesota became a marquee team that’s in the playoff picture.
But prior to that tilt, Kobe Bryant will return to Staples Center on Dec. 18 for the first time since he ended his illustrious career in a blaze of glory with a memorable 60-point performance. This time, the occasion will be the retirement of his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys at halftime.
Even if you can’t be at the game that night, and you aren’t inside the arena, there are plenty of reasons to be nearby.
There will be festivities honoring Bryant outside Staples Center before the game which fans can participate in and enjoy. The Lakers are hosting “Kobeland” on Chick Hearn Court, which is free to the public and open from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Festivities will include a live DJ, Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, a basketball shootout, photo opportunities, and specially-branded merchandise.
Speaking of the area outside Staples Center, this is a special time of year when L.A. Live is transformed into a giant ice skating rink. This is a fun activity for the entire family, young and old.
The experience may fall slightly short of skating in Rockefeller Center in New York City, but it is a close second. Of course, all of the great restaurants inside L.A. Live will be open and are no doubt celebrating the season in their own way.
For those who want to remain connected to the Lakers from the comfort of their home, there are a slew of items that can be gifted as presents. From Lakers Christmas ornaments to apparel, there’s something for all ages.
Whether you prefer a t-shirt or a sweatshirt, a baseball-style cap to a knit cap that will keep you warm in the snow, or a key chain and a coffee mug, there is something for any Lakers fan to enjoy.
As is well known in the community, the Lakers are a very charitable organization throughout the year and this holiday season will be no different. We already saw Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma handing out turkeys to underprivileged families on Thanksgiving, and that generosity will continue throughout the Christmas season.
Last week, Lakers staff members went shopping at Target stores to select presents to give to 10 homeless families. On Dec. 16, the team hosted a holiday party for Children in El Segundo, where the players were present to spread good cheer.
On Christmas Day, players from the Lakers and the Timberwolves will hand out presents to children and host a reception and party before the game.
Christmas is the time for making special wishes, some of which do come true. Fans, of course, are hoping for continued improvement from the purple and gold in the New Year. Here’s wishing for fewer turnovers and missed free throws.
Let’s wish for the good health and future success of the young core of the Lakers none of whom is over 25. This includes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart, Larry Nance, Jr., Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Thomas Bryant, Ivica Zubac, and Tyler Ennis.
For a team with 11 young players, they have competed hard in every game this season and have repeatedly shown the promise of a brighter future.
While we are at it, from everyone at Lakers Nation, here’s wishing the players, coaches, owners, executives and employees of the Los Angeles Lakers, and their loyal, amazing fan base, a happy holiday season.
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