Light saber-wielding fans showed up at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday, Sept. 1, expecting to hear John Williams conduct the L.A. Philharmonic in, as he called it, “some music from ‘Star Wars.’”
They had no idea they would hear Kobe Bryant.
The former Lakers star, who retired in April 2016, took the stage to narrate “Dear Basketball,” the letter he wrote in November 2015 when he decided to retire. The letter had been animated and, in a partnership of all-time greats, set to music by Williams, the composer of the most identifiable film scores of several generations.
Not that Williams is even remotely a basketball fan.
He explained Friday that years ago he got a message jerseys china wholesale that Bryant wanted to meet with him, but Williams said he barely had watched basketball on any level. Bryant, however, wanted to talk about the creative process, as well as his daughters’ love of Williams’ “Harry Potter” music.
Williams said that much later, after Bryant retired with his 60-point farewell, Bryant reached out again to tell him that “Dear Basketball” had been animated and could use a little music.
The Southern California crowd already was buzzing but turned mostly ecstatic when Williams introduced his guest narrator: Bryant.
After Bryant left to another loud ovation, Williams launched into a three-song set from “Star Wars” and then left the stage for one of several curtain calls.
Only he was met before he could get to the wings of the Bowl by Bryant, who returned to the stage showing some deft moves with a red plastic light saber.
It’s easy to forget that some of the NBA’s greatest talents played for the Los Angeles Lakers a long time ago. Kobe Bryant isn’t the only superstar to have ever donned the purple and gold.
If you asked most Los Angeles Lakers fans, they’d tell you that Kobe Bryant was the greatest player to ever suit up for the franchise. While you could make an argument for that being the case, the other superstars in team history often go overlooked.
We need to fix that. Why? Because there are way too many ridiculous talents who have worn the purple and gold to have them go unrecognized. All it takes is a quick peak at the rafters of Staples Center to see how many former Lakers there are who deserved to have their numbers retired.
So who are these stars who once shined bright in Hollywood? Some of them may be more familiar than others. In fact, one of them is currently serving as one of the top shotcallers in the Lakers front office. Another served in a similar role back in the 1980s. Yet another has served as an assistant coach in Los Angeles.
Either way, these guys deserve your unrelenting respect. I understand some of the newer generations being unfamiliar with their work as members of the Lakers. Still, if you’re a true fan of the franchise, you need to be aware of all of the greats — not just Kobe.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five greatest Lakers players not name Kobe Bryant. It’s a rather stacked list, so take out your notebook and make sure you know these names before you start bragging about your Lakers fandom.