The Los Angeles Lakers are an illustrious franchise, with a rich history that has laid the foundation to the second most championships in National Basketball Association history. The team has been through many eras of greatness and is currently in the transition into the next era.
With head coach Luke Walton and the young core growing with each coming game, the future is bright in Los Angeles and the team is expected to make big leaps this season.
While the young core will have to experience the growing pains of the NBA, they also need to learn from those that paved the way. Many players on this team had the opportunity to learn from Kobe Bryant, who gave his parting words to the next generation in order to succeed.
The 2015-16 Lakers learned a tremendous amount under Bryant, as one of the true NBA legends departed into retirement. Walton has guided this 2016-17 roster towards an updated, up-tempo system that goes well with the youth and the evolving NBA.
Another influential Laker, point guard Magic Johnson, has continued to impart wisdom onto the Lakers, stemming back to his days as the coach of the Lakers and into Bryant’s rookie days.
Although Johnson relinquished his position within the organization, the franchise remains grateful for all that he and his teams have done, whether during their championship reign or beyond their playing days.
The “Showtime” Lakers brought forth a new aspect of basketball that hadn’t been seen. The current up-tempo, flashy pace could be credited to Johnson’s teams, but the Lakers roster did so with a mutual respect amongst the players.
According to Paul Lukas of ESPN.com, the Lakers plan to implement a throwback jersey stemming back to Johnson’s playing days:
• Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, multiple sources indicate the Lakers to be wearing Magic Johnson-era throwbacks at some point this season.
Many Laker legends have come and gone, but their teachings and impact on the game can never be forgotten. Laker legend Jerry West visited the Lakers during the preseason, conversing with the players and telling them about his playing days.
Players such as Brandon Ingram took away a strong message from West’s appearance, which Walton hopes will turn into an uplifting experience moving forward.