Enjoy These Lakers, Kobe Bryant While You Can

Enjoy These Lakers, Kobe Bryant While You Can


Just four years ago the Lakers were entering a training camp leading up to the 2008-2009 season. They had just come off a heartbreaking defeat against the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals and were focused on getting back to the Finals.

Fast-forward to the present and the Lakers won back-to-back championships in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, failed to make it out of the second round the following two seasons, and although Kobe Bryant won another Gold Medal, he was no longer the primary option on the Olympics team; taking a backseat to LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Oh how time flies.

The Lakers are once again focused on bringing a championship to Los Angeles with the needed talent to do so, but gone are the days of Phil Jackson and the Triangle offense, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, and a youthfully talented team hungry for an NBA championship.

In fact, the only holdovers from either of those two championships are Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, and Gary Vitti (head athletic trainer) on the sidelines.

Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss somehow managed to reload this Lakers team, however, by adding superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash,  adding an exceptional talent off the bench in the form of Antawn Jamison, keeping likely key pieces such as Devin Ebanks and Jordan Hill, and providing a capable backup to Kobe Bryant in the form of Jodie Meeks.

These off-season moves prompted Kobe to even declare this team “the best talent I’ve ever been around” on paper.

Lakers fans simply cannot wait to see the dream-like starting lineup of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard finally take the court together.

However, this team will be gone in a flash and become just a memory in a short amount of time.

How little time, exactly?

Bryant plans on only playing two seasons and then retiring, but I believe if the Lakers are coming off a championship in the 2013-2014 season and Kobe’s body is still holding up, he’ll sign a one-year extension. That would also be Steve Nash’s final contractual season, and likely the last season he would lace ’em up.

Pau Gasol and/or Metta World Peace may still be here, but that’s not a guarantee, either. As for Dwight Howard, he’ll likely still be here, and be poised to take over the reigns as the Lakers’ franchise player.

This basically means that this team should be together for two seasons, and if everything goes as planned, possibly even three seasons.

In either event, the Lakers are not the Oklahoma City Thunder where superstars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden will likely be together for many years to come and have the opportunity to dominate for multiple seasons.

No, this team as currently constructed will be gone so quickly it may almost not seem real.

So what am I saying, exactly?

Simply put, I’m saying to not take this team for granted.

Just as you shouldn’t take Kobe’s last two (or hopefully three) seasons for granted, you shouldn’t take for granted a team with four potential Hall-of-Famers. Sure, this has happened as recently as nine seasons ago when the Lakers pulled aboard Gary Payton and Karl Malone to join forces with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, but this team will likely have more than one season together.

Additionally, although this team has elderly starters just as that one did, Bryant and Nash are still playing at an extremely high level, and are still fiercely competing with their younger superstar counterparts. Add in Pau Gasol–who’s coming off an excellent summer with the Spanish National Team–and a youthful superstar/defensive monster in Dwight Howard, and this team has all the potential in the world.

There are sure to be highs and lows, showtime and drama, and triumph and defeat. But that’s what it’s all about. That’s what the Lakers are about.

Cherish every moment of this team because although the Lakers always seem to manage to pull the best talent to Los Angeles, talent such as Kobe Bryant doesn’t come along so often.

The beauty of the current arrangement, however, is that Kobe will be given the chance to go out with a bang alongside as he put it, “Defensive Player of the Years, MVPs, All-Stars.”

Four years from now (and likely less), it will all be over and just another memory.

The final chapter of the legendary “Kobe Bryant era” is about to begin. Just be sure to enjoy every minute of it because with all the new characters added, it’s going to be a great one–possibly even the best one yet.

  • Lakers_824

    Been kobe fan since day1, i cant believe the ride is almost over, the NBA is not gonn be the same without kob. When its all said n done kobe will go down as one of the top 5 players in the history of the game

    • Suki Thind

       Most definitely!

      • Lakers_824

         are u punjabi cuz in tht pick it looks like u have braids

    • Kevin

      *TOP 2

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Lee/743373511 Ryan Lee

    I just got chills reading this. So true, and so crazy how fast time flies. I remember talking to all of my friends who thought they were going to dismantle the roster after 08, telling them “the Lakers are going to keep all of these core pieces together, because not even THEY had true aspirations and belief that they would win a title. Kobe will lead them and they will win it all next season.” The more things change the more they stay the same, Kobe must lead them, and they will win it all! True words though, Suki, the hourglass looks much different with Kobe, Steve, & likely Pau & Metta all possibly retiring at the end of this run. Go Lakers!

    • Suki Thind

      Thanks, I appreciate the feedback! Haha, I remember after ’08 I wrote a blog on Myspace (haha, times really DOES fly!) saying “if you jumped on the bandwagon, you better stay on because the Lakers are a young team with lots of potential, and we’re going to win it next year…so just be patient!”

      At the time, it was true. Kobe wasn’t even 30, LO was in his prime, Pau was just entering it, Trevor Ariza showed lots of promise and Andrew Bynum was still a puppy. Plus we had guys like Ronny Turiaf who I thought could be a great bench player as well as D. Fish who is still one of my favorite players. Four years later, and Kobe’s considered old, Pau isn’t quite in his prime anymore, and LO is on the decline as well (with another team, of course).

      This is Kobe’s last stand. I’m just glad the Lakers did everything they could to help him go out on top, instead of watching him beat his body down trying to get out of the second round by himself.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Lee/743373511 Ryan Lee

        Yeah man, you said it, times have definitely changed! What a difference 4 years really does make. For a while there, I admit, I was worried that the Lakers front office may have felt like Kobe had done enough for them and wouldn’t be willing to make major changes to revamp that roster of last year. I would have fully supported Kobe in his final years if he were forced to do it alone and need a miracle to get #6, but I’m sure none are happier than Mr Bryant himself that that is NOT the case! Good for the Buss family for ‘doin work’ in the off season, Championship seasons start in the front office, as we all know. And I would say they won one in the offseason! I am counting down the days, this is where legacies are solidified and it’s a treasure to be a Lakers fan. 10/31! Let’s get it on!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507296065 Stan Perl

    This is a great reminder to make time to enjoy this opportunity. Living in OKC (shudder) it’s going to be bad internet feeds for me most of the time, but at least the Lakers will be here to see in person at least once or twice!