54 | / KOBE BRYANT ERA The Lakers’Showtime era also partly included Serbia’s ownVlade Divac, who won over fans both on and o the court, but who spent seven years at the club when the Lakers were facing myriad problems. Irony would have it that the very departureofDivacwouldmark the foundingof theLakers’newdomination. Divac was traded for the then promising Kobe Bryant, who would go on to become so dominant that theyearshe spent at theclubcame tobeknownas“TheBryant era”. This legendary shooting guard was also joined by the NBA’s all-time most dominant center, Shaquille O’Neal, the arrival of whom was too much for the infrastructure of the NBA to handle. “Shaq”smashed backboards as though for fun, but also rival defences. He won three titles with Kobe, but their split was bitter, with both of themplacing their huge egos ahead of the interests of the club. They wanted to show that they didn’t need others, and they succeeded in doing so. Bryant brought two more titles to the Lakers in tandemwith Pau Gasol. Many resented the fact that he played solo, not passing to teammates, but nobody questioned his warrior’s temperament. Kobe is still cited as an example symbolising dedication, with several injuries to his right, shooting, hand leading him to learn to shoot left-handed! He spent days and nights on the court, and this brought himamultiplicity of skills the likes of which have never been seen before or since. LEBRON JAMES IN VAIN And then... the sad state of the Lakers today, which isn’t even a shadowof the great club of bygone times. LeBron James came to the club, but didn’t manage to help the Lakers reach the play-o s, and even faced the anger of the fans and the distrust of teammates, becausehewas rumoured tobeworkingbehind thescenes in an attempt to trade half the team for Anthony Davis. When this was disclosed, the transfer failed, and the chemistry of the club was destroyed. The greatest culprit was General Manager Johnson, who easily wrote o some players, like D’Angelo Russell and Mo Williams (among others). Looking back on history, we can’t help but hope that this setback is just temporary, no matter how painful it is to watch the torrent of blows sustained by the Rocky Balboa of basketball. And yet, one thing is certain - the time will come when it will again brighten up and cast a shadow over the NBA league. Više od dve decenije kraj parketa u Stejpls centru je i legendarni glumac Džek Nikolson, koji predvodi filmsku svitu Sitting courtside at the Staples Center for more than two decades is also legendary actor Jack Nicholson, who leads the movie suite