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Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers: An Opinion Piece of Moving On

With the retirement of Kobe Bryant and the dismal season the Lakers had in 2016, there is a silver lining in it all.  The Lakers are poised to have a high lottery draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.  With Kobe gone, there is more money to attract some potential star player.  As a closet Lakers fan, the most important thing to take away form everything is the ability to move on past nostalgia.

I get it, how can someone like myself like an egotistical player such as Kobe or even worse: worship a team that is the quintessential definition of arrogance.  Well, he and the Lakers happened to be the “it” thing once Michael Jordan retired and the Chicago Bulls ended their championship dynasty.  And no matter what you can say, Kobe is one of the greatest basketball players of all time.  If this isn’t true, the Kobe Retirement Tour (aka the 2015-16 NBA season) would not draw standing ovations and an outpouring of love and affection for him.  Simply put, I am just like the rest of y’all.

The lesson to be learned from all of this is that we often hold onto our past and negate reality as long as we can.  This biased and sentimental approach often clouts our personal and professional life.  Knowing when to move on without a ruthlessness of detaching the past or giving the respect and gratitude that is due.  Kobe has given a lot that we should all be thankful for, but the delusion and romanticism of him leading the Lakers to glory lasted a season or two too long.  Just like other aspects of our lives, we must learn to appreciate the past, but look towards the future and progress.

So with Kobe gone, now what?  Well assuming the Lakers doesn’t lose their draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, we are in position to draft Brandon Ingram out of Duke University.  A small forward that is likened to Tayshaun Prince and Kevin Durant, Ingram will provide length (has a wingspan of 7’3”) and points from the wing.  Out of the entire draft, Ingram has the tools, mentality, and physicality to be a hit in the NBA.  He may or may not be a superstar, but the Lakers will finally have a solid player in his position since the days of Trevor Ariza and Ron Artest (not Metta World Peace) that can mesh with the other pieces.

Black Mamba gone means the baby sheeps will see the day of light.  Jordan Clarkson, DeAngelo Russell, and Julius Randle will get more of the rock.  These players must be getting giddy and enthusiastic for the next basketball summer camp because they know they will see more playing time.  How much more positive is the atmosphere and how much harder will they practice and hit their basketball training equipment knowing every drop of sweat and tear sacrificed will be of value and meaning?  The players will surly progress further and be better than last season, if this logic and belief is held true.

Lastly, the extra salary cap means the Lakers can potentially attract a free agent in the mold of Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, or even Steph Curry (hey, let’s be optimistic here).  Who knows what the future will hold, but there is no denying Los Angeles is the place that can attract star players based on what the city can offer in terms of lifestyle.  Additionally, any marquee player will have the ability to cement their status as one of the greatest with the platform only the Lakers can offer.  This summer will be interesting for the Lakers and maybe for ourselves as a makeover approaches.

#lifelessons #NBAdraft #summergoals

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