The All-Star break could not have come at a better time for the Los Angeles Lakers as they are in desperate need of rest and recovery.
LeBron James continues to deal with a nagging knee injury that he expects to deal with until the offseason, while Anthony Davis is expected to be re-evaluated in four weeks after suffering a mid-foot sprain against the Utah Jazz. The extra time off should help the Lakers get their bearings before attempting a late-season run to potentially save their 2021-22 season.
Injuries to Los Angeles’ stars are reminiscent of the latter days of Kobe Bryant’s career where he suffered several long-term ailments that affected his availability. Bryant was known for playing through several painful injuries and his mentality served as an inspiration for countless people around the globe.
Athletes have long respected what Bryant brought to the game and the sports world as a whole, with people like Tony Finau making their fanfare of the Lakers icon well known. Finau, who is a die-hard Bryant fan, recently sported a snazzy blazer lined with the legend’s No. 24 jersey to pay tribute while playing at the Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades:
This is just the most recent example of Finau paying homage to Bryant as he has previously donned apparel to honor the late shooting guard. Just a few days after Bryan’s tragic helicopter accident, Finau wore a No. 8 gold Lakers jersey at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open where he drained a birdie in the 16th hole that drew “Kobe” chants from the crowd.
It can not be said how much influence Bryant had on the current generation of professional athletes and they have done well keeping his legacy alive.
Klay Thompson calls Kobe Bryant his biggest inspiration
Bryant left the NBA in good hands with how much talent is spread across the league, with most players paying tribute to him in some way, shape, or form the past few seasons. For example, Klay Thompson spoke about Bryant’s impact on him after he passed the Mamba on the league’s all-time 3-pointers list.
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