The Staples Center experienced its first game after the irreparable loss of the legendary former Los Angeles Lakers player, Kobe Bryant, showing, as the entire NBA did before, how great it was for them and the world of basketball.
It was a special night that lacked the final touch, the victory, what the “Black Mamba” always wanted the most every time he was on a playing field. But the most exciting thing was this tribute video.
– Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The triumph remained, with all deserving, the Trail Blazers because they had at the base Damian Lillard to the great figure of the clash by their 48 points and for knowing how to control the emotions and tears that were during the whole game in full bloom.
The star base of the Trail Blazers was unstoppable all night and stayed at a triple double rebound after contributing 48 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Lillard, with seven triples scored, led the Trail Blazers to victory in an emotionally charged environment and somehow hurt the Lakers, who struggled with the emotional trauma of the tragedy of losing Bryant, their encester leader of all the times, which gave them five league titles and the one that played the most game for 20 consecutive seasons.
Both teams participated in a moving tribute to Kobe before the start of the game, which included songs, videos with outstanding actions of the already angelian myth and an exciting speech by the new Lakers superstar, who came to take the position of the “Black Mamba “, the forward LeBron James.
The highlight of Bryant’s career was the leitmotiv on the field’s video screen at each break, while Lillard was the one who put the best on-board display and sports show.
Lillard’s seven triples allowed him to set a new record in the NBA by adding 40 in his last five games, a record that went virtually unnoticed because the night was exclusively in memory and tribute to Bryant.
Lillard also became the third player in league history that got at least six triples in five consecutive games.
But Lillard was aware that nothing that was done on the Staples Center track would go beyond the statistical element and give an important victory to the Trail Blazers (22-27), which continue to recover the ground that lost the beginning in season to reach the playoffs.
In addition, the base recognized after the game that what was at stake was not to win or lose a game but to be next to all the families that lost their loved ones during the great tragedy that happened last Sunday.
Together with Lillard, the pivot Hassan Whiteside was also decisive in the inside game by dominating the actions under the hoops and contributing a double-double of 30 points, 12 rebounds -10 defensive-, five blocks, two assists and two balls.
The escort C.J. McCollum finished with 19 points as the third top scorer of the Trail Blazers, who played without veteran power forward Carmelo Anthony, Bryant’s personal friend, who was down for “personal reasons.”
Faced with so many emotions, James still had the capacity to contribute a double-double of 22 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, amid tears and promises of never forgetting the deceased “brother”.
The followers of the Lakers who filled the Staples Center did not cease to sing the song of “Kobe! Kobe!” in search of giving all the support to the angelino team.
It could not be, in the end the Trail Blazers were better, but James already made it very clear during the warm and emotional tribute to Bryant, that the spirit and memory of the “Black Mamba” will last forever within the “Lakers Naction.”