January 26 will be remembered as one of the most tragic days in NBA history. This especially holds true for the storied Los Angeles Lakers.
On this date, one year ago, Los Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Needless to say, the Lakers played with heavy hearts for the duration of the 2019-20 NBA season.
Despite losing one of the team’s most iconic players, the Lakers honored the memory of the former Laker great the only way they could. They went on to win a championship. This marked the Lakers’ first title run in a decade. On top of that, the 2010 championship was Bryant’s fifth and final ring.
Additionally, the Lakers tied the Boston Celtics with 17 championship banners. Fast forward to the present, and the Lakers are once again one of the best teams in the NBA.
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip. They played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The team will then face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, the Detroit Pistons (Jan. 28), and the Boston Celtics (Jan. 30).
The Lakers will conclude their road trip against the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 1. In a fitting move, Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel will give his players the day off today to reflect on Bryant’s death as they see fit.
As expected, Bryant’s death still looms large a year later. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. After all, the former Lakers’ star inspired millions of people both on and off the court. It is also worth noting that Bryant donned the Lakers uniform during his entire 20-year career.
Taking that into consideration, Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest Lakers of all-time. Furthermore, his untimely death will always be thought about as a life taken away from us far too soon.
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