first_img“We’re going out and having a good time with it and having fun and going out and playing,” Bryant said. “It’s really helping our team. It pumped so life for us to play with more energy.”It seems too early to say whether that amounts to tangible results. The Lakers have a 1-1 record on their remaining eight-game trip. They also lost last Sunday against Indiana on Staples Center hours following Bryant’s retirement. But Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell noted Bryant’s presence “makes it feel like it’s a home environment” even on the road. Streams of fans wearing No. 24 jerseys have filled Wells Fargo Center and Verizon Center thus far. They have given him standing ovations during starting lineup introductions and when he leaves the entrance tunnel. Bryant has smiled and waved continuously to the crowd when he walks off the floor. “He’s probably going down as the greatest in the game, and this is the last chance everybody gets to embrace him,” Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson said. “I understand all the attention with the media stuff. I think it’s pretty cool.”So much that some of Bryant’s teammates want in on the fun. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers forward Metta World Peace sat by his locker stall Sunday night reading Bryant’s letter that was distributed to fans before Sunday’s game against Indiana at Staples Center. Bryant then signed the letter and offered a personal message.“Love you like a brother,” Bryant wrote.World Peace then framed the letter and posted it on his Instagram. “That was pretty cool,” World Peace said. “Kobe can write movies, commercials. He’s a writer.”Meanwhile, Russell repeatedly told a Lakers official following Wednesday’s win in Washington that he wanted to attend Bryant’s press conference. Moments earlier, Russell shared he plans to swipe any Bryant memorabilia that he can.“It’s a long season,” Russell said. “I try to get something every game.”Through it all, Bryant has expressed appreciation for the support, waxed nostalgia on his career and has offered hearty laughs. He even has offered self-deprecating jokes about his play after averaging 16.8 points, while shooting a career-low 31.1 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range. “It’s been cool, but Kobe really just wants to win,” World Peace said. “I know for a fact he just worries about winning.”center_img ATLANTA >> As he once dominated his opponents with endless scoring bursts with an intimidating glare, Kobe Bryant became known as “The Black Mamba. As he has slithered and hunted his prey in Zoo Atlanta, the black mamba became known as “Kobe.”Only four days into Bryant’s official farewell tour, and it turns out opposing teams will not just honor him with video tributes and Lakers-friendly crowds. With the Lakers (3-15) playing the Atlanta Hawks (12-9) on Friday at Philips Arena, the Hawks and Atlanta Zoo announced that the zoo has renamed its black mamba snake in honor of Bryant.To Bryant’s relief, no team has showered him yet with gifts in the same fashion former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received during his farewell 1988-89 season. The Philadelphia 76ers honored him with a framed No. 24 jersey of his high school alma mater, Lower Merion. Sixers luminary Julius Erving and Bryant’s high school coach, Gregg Downer, greeted Bryant at center court. Toward the end of a timeout midway through the first quarter of Wednesday’s game in Washington, the Wizards’ scoreboard featured a picture of Bryant with the message: “Thank you for 20 amazing worlds.”last_img

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