On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Los Angeles Lakers — and the entire city of L.A. — will mourn the two-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in 2020. While there are no official tributes in place, especially with the Lakers on the road, it figures to be an emotional day for anyone with connections to L.A., the Lakers or the basketball world.
Carmelo Anthony will absolutely be someone thinking about Bryant on that day and celebrating the incredible life lived by the Lakers legend. Anthony, who played alongside Bryant at the Olympics and battled against him on the court for 13 seasons, got one of the NBA’s closest looks at Bryant’s superstar legacy.
But for Anthony, celebrating Bryant and mourning his tragic death is not just relegated to the anniversary of Jan. 26, 2020. It’s something that stays with him, the Lakers and the city of L.A. each and every day.
“His energy is always here, especially mentally, we always think about him. I’m sure the city is always thinking about him, people in general are always thinking about him.”
“It is a very special day, the two-year anniversary of his passing, so it’s a celebrated day, it’ll be a sad day thinking about him, memories and what he meant to this organization, what he meant to this city, what he meant to the game of basketball as a whole,” Anthony continued. “But we have to continue to celebrate him. That’s one thing that I’m sure he would’ve wanted, us to celebrate him, keep his legacy going. I’m proud of Vanessa and the kids, going to school, just to kind of see that emerge and see the family at least walking around with their heads high. It’s good to celebrate.”
The city of L.A. absolutely thinks about Bryant on a near daily basis. It’s hard to see a day go by where old highlights of Bryant’s playing days or a quote he said after his retirement doesn’t go viral on social media.
Fans also get joy seeing Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters through social media. Vanessa frequently posts about their adjustment to life without Kobe, spending days with Pau Gasol, Rob Pelinka and other close friends of the Bryant family.
Bryant remains integral to the culture surrounding Lakers basketball, especially after the team’s 2020 championship run. So while Anthony never got to play with Bryant on the Lakers or in the NBA, he recognizes the massive impact he has on the franchise.
Anthony emphasizes resilience for Lakers
After a recent win against the Orlando Magic brought the Lakers back to .500 on the season, Anthony stressed the importance of resilience as they move through a tumultuous season.
“We look at the road trip, but I think it was an important win for us just for the simple fact that we needed a win,” Anthony said. “It’s always good to get a win on the road. Get the first win on a long road trip like we have coming up. It was important for us to get this one tonight.
“[W]e try not to pay attention to the chaos,” he said. “It is what it is. People are going to talk. Me personally, I really don’t know what people are saying. I try to stay away from it. That’s how I cope with it, but for the most part, I think we do a great job of staying together in that locker room. That’s what’s important.
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