“It’s Hard”: Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss On The Challenge of Moving On From Kobe Bryant Passing

Published 07/12/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 29: (L-R) Hublot Beverly Hills Boutique President, Greg Simonian, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe are seen at center court during a presentation naming Hublot the official timekeeper of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)


The Los Angeles Lakers started the season as one of the favorites to retain their NBA title. However, as the regular season faded into the knockouts, a sense of the storm getting diminished was associated with the defending champions.

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Lakers fall into a downward spiral

The LeBron James-led side began the season on a high note. Up until late January, the Lakers were on top of the league standings. All their key players were shining and how! At the rate at which they were dribbling effortlessly and scoring, another Conference-clinching campaign was on the cards. Somehow, you couldn’t help but think that the Kobe Bryant induction into the Hall of Fame played on the minds of the team.

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Dramatically, the Lakers witnessed a profuse dip in form from the month of February. Despite their twin performers LeBron James and Anthony Davis averaging 25 points and 21.8 points respectively, the Lakers’ regular season dropped to a substandard level towards the culmination. The side finished the season in 7th place, meaning that after the play-in phase, they would draw Phoenix Suns in the first round of the knockouts.

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LA owner Jeanie Buss on Kobe Bryant

After what turned out to be a painful ending for Lakers fans, Jeanie Buss, who owns the Los Angeles side, mentioned how detrimental the passing of Kobe Bryant was for her. She spoke about how the Hall of Fame ceremony brought all the memories flashing back.

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January 22, 2014 Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant during the first half in a game between the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes and the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Juan Salas/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Buss said, “It’s almost like having to put him away again. He’s going into the Hall, and it’s like we’re leaving him there. It’s hard, it’s hard to go through this again. I guess, you just don’t get over it.”

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It was undoubtedly a shocking turn of events for the Los Angeles Lakers, who will look to regenerate their older selves next season. Their injuries during 2020-21 did not help their cause either. Everything taken into consideration, the Lakers contingent can be optimistic for the upcoming tenure in 2021-22.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

94 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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