Lakers lean heavily on appeal (and apparel) of Kobe Bryant
By Bill Oram
LOS ANGELES — The Lakers were in their baby blue and gold Minneapolis throwback uniforms again on Wednesday, but the bigger jersey news was the unveiling of a look they will don later in the season.
Starting on Jan. 26 in Chicago, the Lakers will introduce a black uniform designed by retired star Kobe Bryant that is adorned with accents that honor one of the franchise’s legends – Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers’ “City Edition” look from Nike features a snakeskin pattern with Bryant’s two jersey numbers – 8 and 24 – under the flaps of the shorts. The front of the waistband also features a 24, the digits connected in a way that they appear to say “L.A.”
For a franchise trying to take steps into the future, the Lakers are leaning heavily on Bryant, who retired in 2016, to satiate fans. The announcement of the new uniforms came just nine days after Bryant became the first player in professional sports to have two jersey numbers retired by one team.
Lakers coach Luke Walton called the new look, which will be worn eight times, “awesome.” As a teammate of Bryant’s from 2003-12, Walton got a first-hand look at Bryant’s creative side. The snakeskin pattern is a nod to Bryant’s self-given alter-ego and nickname, the Black Mamba.
“It’s got his own nice little touches,” Walton said. “I always thought he did a really good job, he was always heavily involved in the design with his own shoe, and I have always been a fan of those.
“I think he does a really nice job with the subtleties of the jersey that was put together. I think it will be fun for the team and the fans.”
Luke Walton said the Kobe-designed uniforms are “awesome” and that he can’t wait to get one to wear […]