Kevin Durant could be the one who takes Kobe Bryant’s place as the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Purple & Gold have always boasted of at least one superstar, a box office attraction, to represent the legendary franchise.
From Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and Wilt Chamberlain, to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have always boasted of mega superstars.
With Kobe Bryant’s impending retirement, the Lakers will be left without an all-star, let alone a superstar. While Jordan Clarkson has shown the ability to lead the team, at least in scoring, he may not be ready to help sell tickets and television deals, seeing as he’s just a second-year pro. The other young studs, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, still have ways to go.
Kevin Durant will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Earlier this year, ESPN’s popular analyst, Stephen A. Smith, predicted that Durant will be a Laker next season. “I’m hearing if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in OKC, L.A. Is his primary objective and landing spot,” said Smith, who isn’t the first person to predict Durant in a Laker uniform. A year ago, Forbes published an article underlining how economics and high stakes will propel Durant switch to Lakers. Besides, Durant can also entertain Hollywood aspirations with a move to the Lakers.
There are other strong reasons, too. First, Durant lives in L.A. Second, Durant idolized Kobe Bryant while growing up and would be the perfect person to take the torch forward. “I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan,” KD said on Monday.