Early-Summer Returns Show Lakers That Post-Kobe Era Could Be a Lot of Fun

July 11th, 2016 by Kevin Ding Leave a reply »

LAS VEGAS — This is the land of the mirage. And while the pretty people partying endlessly are the promotional draw, Las Vegas is a place where the aging and over-the-hill try to turn back the clock. Magician David Copperfield still performs twice nightly at the hotel where the Los Angeles Lakers are staying during NBA Summer League. Mobile billboard trucks clog the Strip to promote Britney Spears' concerts.

All of the excessive air conditioning is like quick-fix cryotherapy. Even Kobe Bryant's Vegas-resident father, Joe, was milling around on the periphery at Lakers games Friday and Saturday like a wannabe.

It's a funny place for the Lakers to get over their longstanding fear of a youth movement.

Though determined to stay relevant as long as possible and avoid a dreaded rebuild, the Lakers received a clear message over the weekend about how exciting it can feel to let the circle of life happen.

The Lakers owned the opening weekend of the Las Vegas Summer League in the way they ruled the sports world not too long ago.

They have a monster fanbase in Vegas, a byproduct of their proximity an ...

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