‘More Balanced’: Jeanie Buss on Why Kobe Bryant’s Long Run With Lakers Might Never Happen in the NBA Again

Published 08/19/2021, 12:50 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second quarter in game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Friday, May 4, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


It is not often that we see players spend their entire careers with one team. However, the ones who do, are widely celebrated for their loyalty. One such player that comes to mind is Kobe Bryant.

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Bryant spent his entire career playing for the Lakers franchise – 20 long years. Even though there were close calls, he pulled through and stayed loyal to the city of LA. Moreover, Bryant added 5 championships for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown and Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) talk it over during the third quarter in game 6 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Thursday, May 10, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Lakers’ owner, Jeanie Buss, spoke about Bryant’s legacy and why something like that won’t happen again.

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Buss believes a long run like Kobe Bryant will not happen again

While speaking to the Athletic, Buss said that she feels no player will play spend their entire career in one uniform. She spoke about how the collective bargaining has encouraged players to move teams. But she did admit that it has made the league more interesting.

SAN ANTONIO – MAY 7: (FILE PHOTO) Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey in Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at SBC Center on May 7, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Bryant was released on bail by the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado July 6, 2003 after posting a $25,000 bond on a felony count of sexual assault. (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Buss said, “With Kobe to have played on one team for 20 years, I really don’t think you’re ever going to see that again. It’s going to be very rare to see that. It’s just the way the collective bargaining agreement is, it encourages a lot more movement than it did before.

“And I do think it’s made the league more interesting, more balanced in increasing engagement in the offseason … there were so many headlines that put us right up there with the Olympics going on.”

Buss does make a good point, as there are many ways of negotiating right now. The variations in the contracts offer a lot of flexibility to organizations as well as players; in today’s league a franchise with less fund or cap space can make out an agreement to bring in a star as well.

However, in a league where movements are common, who has stayed loyal?

Who can continue the ‘Mamba’s’ one-team legacy?

While it is hard to believe, there aren’t many players who have stayed loyal to one team. However, a ‘Big 3’ stands out and could continue Kobe’s legacy.

May 16, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with forward Draymond Green (23) against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The original ‘Big 3’ of the Bay is still intact and going solid. The core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have all stayed loyal to the Warriors. Despite internal issues and bad results, they have not given up on their organization.

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Recently, Curry even signed a four-year extension with the Warriors. Hence, these three players could go do something similar like Bryant did with the Lakers.

14 February 2011: Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) against the Charlotte Bobcats during an NBA basketball game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 14, 2011. (Photo by Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Do you think Curry will stay with the Warriors for his entire career? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

268 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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