With LeBron James becoming a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the domino effect has added yet another layer to Kobe Bryant’s storied career with the franchise. Enduring down times and a near-departure, Bryant ultimately spent all 20 years playing for the Lakers.
He’s often discussed the meaning behind achieving as much, naming current Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson as his favorite player while Bryant was still a young child, and further reason for having a sense of accomplishment. Johnson played all 13 seasons with L.A.
Of course, every great legend has seemingly had a rival. For Bryant, his biggest is arguably James, despite the two never meeting in the NBA Finals, like Johnson and Larry Bird did.
And with James joining the Lakers, there’s expected to be plenty of discussion and comparison over what he manages to do with the franchise compared to what Bryant did.
Although media and/or fans may engage in such talk, Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss was adamant that Bryant’s standing and legacy with the organization is unrivaled, via Fox Sports Radio:
“No one will ever touch Kobe’s legacy. For what he did with the Lakers, the fact that he stayed with this team for 20 years and won us five championships, to even question Kobe’s legacy or what he means to Laker fans, it’s ridiculous.”
Buss’ remarks were part of her response to two James murals in Los Angeles getting vandalized. The first championed him as the ‘King of L.A.,’ while the second was more nostalgic as it depicted James looking up at Bryant, Johnson and other Laker legends.
Buss argued that those defacing the murals weren’t true fans of the franchise, because such behavior would not be tolerated.
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