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Kobe Bryant Now Stands as the Last Prominent Connection to Laker Glory

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Kobe Bryant Now Stands as the Last Prominent Connection to Laker Glory
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is the only one left. Do you realize that? It's OK if you don't. The thought didn't even dawn on Kobe himself until it was brought to his attention late Friday night. None of the other names and faces that spring into your mind when you think of the Los Angeles Lakers has an official connection to the Lakers. Pat Riley last coached a game at the Forum in 1990. Jerry West has not been responsible for the team's personnel since 2000. Chick Hearn called his final game in 2002 before moving up high, high above the Western sideline. We're coming up on nine years since Shaquille O'Neal last wore a purple jersey. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is no longer working with the Laker big men. Magic Johnson sold his ownership stake in 2011. And now Jerry Buss, the one constant that tied them all together, has passed away.

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