The Lakers aren’t destined to win a championship because Kobe Bryant died. Bryant’s death shook the world, not just the Lakers. Many people – including players on other teams – still grieve.
But Kobe does mean something special to these Lakers. Playing to honor his memory does inspire them. Whether or not you think they should’ve dove so strongly into this narrative, it is part of their journey.
One way they’re showing it: Black Mamba jerseys.
The Lakers were originally scheduled to wear the uniforms in only Game 2 (which they did) and Game 7 of the NBA Finals. But one win from a championship, the Lakers will wear the jerseys again in Game 5 Friday.
Some of this undoubtedly about marketing and revenue. Don’t pretend otherwise.
But it would mean something to some people if the Lakers win a title in these uniforms.
That said, it wouldn’t take away anything from the Lakers’ accomplishment or Bryant’s legacy if they won in their white uniforms in Game 6.