The new NBA Cup in Las Vegas is nearing its peak, with anticipation for the upcoming semi-finals. The first matchup includes an exciting matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers, followed later by the highly anticipated matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Four very good clubs with many good individuals and basketball superstars. As the Lakers eagerly take the court and continue their quest for the NBA Cup title, they face an unexpected obstacle – they are required to wear their yellow uniforms instead of the preferred black attire.
This unexpected decision by the NBA has left fans and players alike confused and disappointed. The black jerseys were chosen in honor of Kobe Bryant, the legend of the club, who tragically died at the beginning of that year in a helicopter tragedy.
The Lakers have been dominant throughout the tournament, showing their top talent in victories over the Memphis Grizzlies (134:107), the Utah Jazz (131:99), and most recently the Phoenix Suns (106:103) in a fierce quarterfinal battle at Staples Center.
Their black jerseys have become a symbol of their success and determination, especially given their significance in honoring the late Kobe Bryant.
Black jerseys inappropriate for the field in Las Vegas
However, the NBA deemed the black uniforms inappropriate for the Las Vegas tournament due to concerns that they would "blend" into the design of the court.
This decision met with the displeasure of several Lakers players, and one even publicly criticized it as "stupid". Black uniforms have a huge emotional significance for the Lakers organization. In 2020, during the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, the team wore black throughout the playoffs, which were played exclusively at the ESPN Complex in Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This selection was a touching tribute to Kobe Bryant, whose tragic helicopter crash earlier that year deeply affected the entire basketball community. Although their yellow uniforms are still iconic in their own right, it is clear that the players wanted to play in black uniforms. We hope that they will play a good game regardless of the uniform, and that we will see an unpredictable match.