The mask that Kobe Bryant once wore after breaking his nose during the All-Star Game back in February was sold at auction last week for $67,100 with all of the money raised from the auction going to the Bryant Family Foundation, Kobe's charity that works to help the homeless in Los Angeles.
Kobe's mask became an iconic piece of Lakers' history after he wore it for just a few weeks, showing off the toughness, grit and determination that Bryant plays with, while looking pretty damn cool in the process.
However, the sale of Kobe Bryant's mask got me thinking. Which artifact in Los Angeles Lakers history is the most iconic, and which ones would bring even more money than Kobe's short-lived mask?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've gone ahead and thought this one out for you, and there's no question about what No. 1 would be in my mind, but there are a handful more that would be interesting to be sold.
Magic Johnson was not a flashy man when it came to accessories he wore on the basketball court. Instead, Magic chose to be flashy off the court and really show off his flare with his amazing game.
However, there is one part of Magic Johnson's basketball garb that stood out among the crowd, even though half the league was wearing the same thing.
I'm talking, of course, about Magic Johnson's purple and gold Converse All-Stars, shoes that were famous before Michael Jordan made it famous to make shoes famous (if that sentence made any sense at all).
Not only was George Mikan the first great center in NBA history and nicknamed Mr. Basketball, but he was also the first guy to look like he spent his evenings sitting on his back porch reading a book.
Okay, so that's a lie, actually. 1950s ball was littered with dorky looking white guys, and Mikan was just the biggest, dorkiest and whitest of the bunch, so he stood out among his peers.
Still, those eyeglasses which offered seemingly no protection whatsoever from the dangers of flying elbows and loose balls are a part of Lakers folklore these days.
The only way I could describe Wilt Chamberlain's old headband to another person is that it looks like a folded-over paper towel strapped to Chamberlain's head with one of those clamps that they use to keep a towel on you at the dentist.
The Chamberlain headband was one of the first in NBA history as he and Slick Watts popularized the accessory, and it became a part of NBA history the first time he stepped onto the court with it.
It was ugly, constantly dirty and it looked ridiculous, but this bad boy is the grandfather of all headbands we see today.
There must have been something floating around Los Angeles during the 80s that was destroying vision, because it seems like half the team was wearing some sort of eyewear.
Probably the least famous, but still thoroughly interesting pairs of glasses rested on the bridge of James Worthy's nose.
His specs were sort of a combination of the Kareem goggles and a regular pair of glasses, making his the coolest looking on the team during the era, but least memorable. It just goes to show, if you want to be remembered you're going to need to look like a dork.
Kurt Rambis may not have been the player that James Worthy was, but his glasses did 10 times as much work as Worthy's, and they are at least that much cooler.
Rambis opted not for the smooth, stylish goggles that his teammates had, but instead the thick, strong Drew Carey black-framed glasses before they became a part of modern fashion. That's right, Kurt Rambis was a dork before it was cool.
These glasses embody what transcends basketball, as there's not a single basketball junkie out there who wouldn't automatically look at these and think of the 1980s Lakers.
There are three people who come to mind when someone mentions basketball players and short shorts, and all of them are representative of different eras.
First, as a child of 90s basketball, comes John Stockton, then moving back there's Larry Bird, and finally comes Jerry West.
It's not that he was the only one who had shorts that stopped far north of the knee, it's just that his image is so ingrained with those short shorts that it's hard to pry it from my brain.
For example, I can imagine Wilt Chamberlain without short shorts, I can imagine Clyde Frazier without them, but whenever I think about West, the only image my brain can conjure up is that of him jolting sideways, body slanted and shorts at mid-thigh.
Wilt Chamberlain is known for a lot of things, but one of the things he's known most for his his iconic Chuck Taylors.
There were many other players who rocked the Chucks, but none are associated with the shoes as much as Wilt is today.
He was a fan of the classic white-bodied high-tops with the red stripe around the foot and the blue star, as those clodhoppers became one of the great artifacts of the early NBA.
As the single most memorable bespectacled player in the history of the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had a pair of goggles that not only made him look more like an alien, but also made him even that much more recognizable.
There are two images of Kareem out there. As a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, there's the youthful, afroed Kareem who was the embodiment of the future of the NBA in the 1970s and then there's the wily, smart, image of consistency that was the bald, goggled Kareem of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The goggles that he donned have become a part of NBA history and go beyond the scope of something like a mask worn for 11 games.
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