Video of Kobe Bryant saying Lakers only hang banners for NBA titles resurfaces

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated Tyrese Halliburton and the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 9 to win the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament title. The franchise is expected to hang an In-Season Tournament banner at Arena.

In the wake of the team’s plans to hang an In-Season Tournament banner, a video of Kobe Bryant saying that the Lakers only hang banners for NBA titles has resurfaced.

“This franchise does not hang division banners,” Bryant said. “It does not hang conference championships. We hang one banner and one banner only, and that’s NBA titles. And you may not like it. You may think it sucks. You may think it’s not great sportsmanship. Get over it. It is what it is. It’s the city of champions for a reason.”

Arguably the Lakers’ two best players — LeBron James and Anthony Davis — starred in the team’s In-Season Tournament victory over the Pacers. The former finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting 10-of-21 from the field across 35 minutes of action. The latter, meanwhile, dropped 41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and four blocks while shooting 16-of-24 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe.

No player on the Pacers managed to even come close to matching Davis’ point total. Halliburton and second-year pro Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points each to lead Indiana.

Before beating the Pacers, the Lakers had to eliminate the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans in previous rounds of the In-Season Tournament. The Lakers beat Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and the Suns by just three points, but they blew out Zion Williamson and the Pelicans, seeing as how they won that game by a final score of 133-89.

After stringing together some wins of late, the Lakers are now in prime position to climb up the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles owns the sixth-best record in the conference at 14-9 and is just a game and a half back of the Oklahoma City Thunder — who own a 15-7 record — for the No. 2 seed.

The Lakers will try to keep their winning streak alive when they take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on the road on Tuesday.

The Mavericks, like the Lakers, are riding a three-game winning streak. Plus, the team is fresh off a seven-point win against Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.