The excitement of signing LeBron James officially has the Los Angeles Lakers’ world in a frenzy. Even former players are getting in on the action.
Shaquille O’Neal, a dominant center for the team in the early 2000’s, surmised that Kobe Bryant, one of the franchise’s all-time greats, could return to the Lakers to join LeBron. While O’Neal is just jokingly making a longshot prediction, it is an enticing premise.
"Kobe coming back, I heard. Kobe coming back, I heard he was. You heard it here first,” Shaq said at a charity event.
Although said in jest, O’Neal is linking two of the league’s best historical figures. Not only does LeBron’s name normally emerge when discussing the top five players of all-time, Kobe is considered by many to be the league’s best shooting guard ever.
The two players serve as a reminder of how historically relevant the Lakers have been, boasting some of the best players–from Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain to Magic Johnson to Kobe, and now to LeBron.
The Lakers honored Bryant during the 2017-18 season by retiring his Nos. 8 and 24 jerseys, where they hang in the Staples Center rafters.
When LeBron arrives for his first day of training camp, he will be carrying the torch Bryant left in his 20 seasons with the organization.
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