Globetrotters vs. LakersAP Photo/Charles KnoblockFlanked by the Globetrotters' Sweetwater Clifton, left, and Babe Pressley, Minneapolis star George Mikan grabs a rebound during the teams' February 1950 meeting. It was the fourth of eight matchups between the Globies and Lakers.

With the Rams rebooting in Los Angeles, presents a series exploring the remnants departed teams have left behind in the cities they abandoned.

The Harlem Globetrotters are seen today as an entertainment-first team that couldn't compete against the NBA's best in a legitimate competition. And if the Minneapolis Lakers are remembered at all beyond the Twin Cities, it's usually for being the NBA's first dynasty behind 6-foot-10 George Mikan or moving to Los Angeles in 1960 and establishing a winning tradition there.

But the basketball world was a dramatically different place when the all-white Minneapolis Lakers first played the all-black Globetrotters on Feb. 19, 1948. The exhibition was the opening game of a doubleheader that also featured the Chicago Stags against the New York Knicks in a Basketball Association of America game. A sellout crowd of 17,823 packed the old Chicago Stadium.

"Little did we realize it would turn out to be one of the most memorable basketball games of all time," Max Winter, the Lakers franchise's first general manager, told Minneapolis-based author Stew Thornley.

Segregation was finally on its way out in basketball. But the Lakers-Globetrotters series gave it one last shove.

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Los Angeles city officials declared Aug. 24 "Kobe Bryant Day" to commemorate the Los Angeles Lakers great, who wore the numbers 8 and 24 during his 20 seasons with the team.

Los Angeles Dodgers players Justin Turner and Joc Pederson joined in on celebrating the day.

Turner hasn't been shy about his appreciation for Bryant in the past. When Bryant played his final NBA game in April, Turner tweeted a picture of himself decked out in Mamba gear. Pederson's hat, which reads "live like a champ," seems fitting for a day honoring Bryant, a five-time NBA champion.

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Vote: Which Kobe Bryant number should the Lakers retire?

August, 24, 2016
Aug 24

Wednesday was Aug. 24, or 8/24 in the U.S., the day the city of Los Angeles declared Kobe Bryant Day because of the two jersey numbers the star wore in his career.

That brings back a longstanding debate among Los Angeles Lakers fans and NBA fans as a whole:

As the video above states, Bryant played 10 seasons in each uniform. He scored 16,866 points as No. 8 and 16,777 as No. 24. He won more championship rings wearing his first uni (three to two), but he made 10 All-Star Games as No. 24 compared to eight at No. 8. He won his only MVP and Finals MVP awards wearing the latter number.

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ESPN personalities celebrate Kobe Bryant Day by doing their best Kobe impressions.

City of Los Angeles celebrates 'Kobe Bryant Day'

August, 24, 2016
Aug 24

LOS ANGELES -- Even as the Los Angeles City Council paused to honor Kobe Bryant and reflect on everything he has done since he arrived in the city 20 years ago it was evident that Bryant's mind was elsewhere, looking ahead, consumed with what comes next.

Wednesday was "Kobe Bryant Day" in L.A., by official proclamation. And after some awkward bits of democracy -- when citizens used the open microphone to decry city expenditures, say "Go Lakers!" and hurl expletives and racial slurs -- the council got down to honoring Bryant's basketball accomplishments and civic contributions in his two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers as purple-and-gold clad fans filled council chambers chanting "Ko-be" and "M-V-P."

"When Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were playing well we were all Angelenos, united and watching greatness," council member Jose Huizar said.

"The unforgettable moments at the buzzer inspired us to work harder on the things in our lives," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

Speaking in Spanish at the conclusion of his remarks, Garcetti said Bryant represents the spirit of Los Angeles and the heart of Los Angeles.

Bryant, with his daughters and pregnant wife by his side, watched the video recap of his 60-point effort in his final NBA game, then listened to the speeches. Lots of speeches.

He kept using the word "surreal" to describe the day. He'd been feted at City Hall before, but when the Lakers were celebrating championships. This was a celebration of him.

"It feels different because it is different," he said as he entered the garage and took an elevator up to the third floor.

When he had his turn at the microphone he conluded by saying:

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First Take look back at Dr. Jerry Buss' passing and whether they blame Jim Buss taking over basketball operations or Kobe Bryant's contract extension that became the Lakers' decline.

In honor of Los Angeles declaring August 24, 2016 'Kobe Bryant Day,' SportsCenter looks back at some of Kobe Bryant's top career moments.

Lakers training camp likely to be in Santa Barbara: The Los Angeles Lakers might not be staying home for training camp after all. After returning to Honolulu, Hawaii, last September, the Lakers are in the process of relocating Luke Walton’s first training camp to Santa Barbara. While the move has not been finalized, it is in the works, Lakers spokesman John Black said. -- The Orange County Register

No. 8 or No. 24?

As the city of Los Angeles prepares to celebrate Kobe Bryant Day on, fittingly, Aug. 24, it's worth revisiting the question of the two numbers Bryant wore during his career.

The Los Angeles Lakers could head off any debate about which of the two numbers should hang in the rafters by retiring both, something GM Mitch Kupchak told season-ticket holders was a possibility in January.

But if it's only one, which one should it be? The question of No. 8 versus No. 24 is a fascinating one because of the way it splits Bryant's 20 NBA seasons in half. 

So, with the help of advanced statistics, let's consider the tale of the tape on Kobe No. 8 and Kobe No. 24.


Newly-signed Lakers forward Brandon Ingram wears a fancy suit to shoot hoops in Venice Beach, California.

With great social media power, comes great responsibility, and Kobe Bryant's ten million plus followers on Twitter certainly equal a powerful block. Bryant's own achievements as a basketball star call attention to his moves even in retirement from the sport. The world at large reacted when Bryant announced he was launching a new venture capital firm.

Yet of all the jokes and comments on social media about the news, Bryant only retweeted one. It compared certain basketball terms (games usually end with a winner after four quarters, to "carry" a ball is against the rules, pivoting means keeping one foot planted) to similar terms in venture capital (four quarters divide the financial year, getting future profits is described as "earn carry" and pivoting means to change a company's course completely).

However, it turns out the joke that was apparently thought of as clever by Bryant was pasted instead of retweeted from the person who originally posted it, namely Ashley Mayer. When alerted to the situation, Bryant, the father of two daughters (and currently expecting another with his Mexican-American wife, Vanessa), was happy to give Mayer the credit for her joke.

Click here to keep up on all the latest Los Angeles Lakers news.

The best Kobe death stares

August, 23, 2016
Aug 23


Kobe Bryant was feared for many reasons on the court, but above all, you didn't want to be on the receiving end of one of The Black Mamba's death stares.

Los Angeles city leaders have declared this Wednesday as "Kobe Bryant Day," honoring the Los Angeles Lakers icon who played 20 seasons in purple and gold before retiring in April.

The honor, which was announced in a statement Monday, falls on a day that commemorates the two jersey numbers that Bryant wore during his Lakers career: 8 and 24.

Bryant, who won five championships among numerous other accolades, also will be honored for philanthropy work.

"Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant's 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and 'Kobe Bryant Day' is the City of Los Angeles' way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles," L.A. City Councilman José Huizar said in a statement.

"For 20 years, we were all the beneficiaries of Kobe's incredible talent and legendary work ethic, and on 8-24 we'll gather to say, 'Thank you, Mamba.'"

Bryant will be honored at Los Angeles City Hall.

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Kobe Bryant
17.6 2.8 0.9 28.2
ReboundsJ. Randle 10.2
AssistsM. Huertas 3.4
StealsD. Russell 1.2
BlocksT. Black 0.5