In Frank Vogel’s first year as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, he’s done almost nothing wrong to begin the 2019-20 NBA season.
He’s made correct rotations, his defensive scheme is the NBA’s best, and the Lakers look like an unstoppable force. In the team’s blowout win against the Atlanta Hawks, Vogel got his first glimpse into what being a Laker is all about when Kobe Bryant was in attendance.
Bryant rarely attends Lakers games, going to about one a season since his retirement. However, last night was the first time where Bryant being there really felt like it added to the spectacle of the game. The Lakers dominated the Hawks right out of the gate, and it led to a number of highlight reel plays that were only amplified by Bryant’s presence.
Vogel spoke about what he felt when Bryant was shown on the jumbotron at Staples Center and how his legacy affected what the Lakers were able to do in the game.
“Well, I got chills when the crowd started going nuts at his presence and you know, he deserves it,” Vogel said.
“One of the greatest Lakers of all time and one of the greatest players of all time. We’re very lucky to have him here in attendance and it definitely energized the crowd and our team.”
Seeing a Lakers game with Bryant in attendance is certainly a surreal experience as the love that fans have for him almost seems unmatched by any other player for any other team.
In addition, the admiration that Vogel and the current Lakers have for Bryant also shows the impact he’s had on them as a whole. After Magic Johnson and Bryant, there really isn’t another person that represents the Lakers so perfectly as just the sight of those two is enough to bring all of Staples Center to their feet.
Vogel, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the entire 2019-20 Lakers will look to build their own legacy that can be remembered by Lakers fans for years to come and it starts with greats like Bryant that came before them.