Immortality is defined as the ability to live forever. Seems like such an impossible term. But sometimes the word “immortal” isn’t used to describe the physical, literal life of a human. Sometimes, “Immortality” is used to describe something that cannot be broken, cannot be lost, and cannot be forgotten. “Immortality” sometimes simply means you cannot lose. That was the word that described the Los Angeles Lakers for so many years. They were the glamour of the NBA, the pride of Los Angeles. They were immortal.
Look back at all the greats who've helped create this legacy, and you will see why it carries so much weight. Like Wilt Chamberlain, who gave the Lakers a great taste of glory in his prime days wearing the purple and gold. He dominated year after year, and became the model for future stars to come. And Elgin Baylor, who shocked even the hardest fans with his amazing feats, starting in just his rookie season. Also Jerry West (the “logo”), who became so famous he remains the face of the NBA today. When we turn up the clock a little bit, we get the great Magic Johnson and the amazing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The combo destined for the ages and one that still stands as one of the best of all time.There’s Shaq too, who displayed a level of dominance we haven’t seen again.
All of those great Laker players displayed similar things. Dominance, respect, loyalty, greatness. The legacy and story of the Lakers were created by those very same guys. But perhaps one of the most important guys in shaping LA’s team? Kobe Bryant. He became the pillar of Los Angeles basketball in a way that nobody else has replicated. He was everything the past Laker greats represented. He led his Laker teams in such a way, that they were almost always relevant (whether the roster was good or not). He led an era of basketball that followed the model of all the previous ones. He continued the greatness, the immortality.
With Kobe gone now, the Kobe era of Los Angeles has ended. The once immortal Lakers, now seem very mortal.
It falls up to the young Laker core now, to resurrect this once great basketball team. This is the start of a new Era in Laker land. One that begins in mystery and doubt.
If there’s one thing a new era needs, though, it’s a new leader. And while it is not clear who will be the next torch bearer in LA, several players certainly have a chance to lead this Lakers team into their new era.
Let’s start with point guard D’Angelo Russell, who certainly has a great opportunity to become that leader. With this new age of 3 point shooting and elite point guard play, Russell has the perfect mold to fit today's game.
There’s also the rookie, Brandon Ingram. His sleek form and excellent shot making ability have drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant. Whether he actually lives up to the hype is yet to be seen, but he surely has the build and attitude to be the next star. Only time will tell, however, what kinds of guys these players will become. But in this new era of Laker basketball, one without Kobe Bryant, it is important that they become big time. And sooner, rather than later.
While this fresh age of LA ball will likely not start off too well, it might not be completely over yet. They always have a shot to display the greatness so many LA fans have gotten used to. There is time to rebuild the kingdom that is the Lakers.That’ what makes it so great tho.They have never really been in this position before, and now that they're in it, what will they do? How will this turnout? Can the Lakers forge a new era of winning from scratch? Those are the questions everyone wants to know. But none of these questions can be answered... yet.
For now, all we need to do is watch. We need to watch what this new Laker era will bring, and if this team can become “immortal” again.