June 28, 2010
Remember that time, like five kabillion years ago, when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics for the NBA championship? No, not 1985. And not 1987 either. I meant 2010, which seems like forever ago even though it's only 11 days that have passed. You may not have known this way back then because it wasn't mentioned at all, but that title was the Lakers' 16th of all time. I can't believe that never got said during any of the broadcasts.
So yeah, 16 titles is a pretty big deal. It's the most ever in the NBA, as long as you don't count teams who have leprechauns as mascots. And because of that, T-shirts need to be made to commemorate this record almost-breaking feat. Thanks, Nike!
What you see above is Nike's "Kobe Banner" T-shirt, which is pretty funny for a few reasons. First, Kobe didn't win all 16 titles because he wasn't alive back in 1949 when the Lakers were dominating the BAA, a precursor to the NBA. Also, he has helped win just five of the Lakers' titles, just like Derek Fisher(notes) and Magic Johnson who don't have shirts named after them. Oh, and it says a big, huge 16 on it, which just so happens to belong to another Laker who was fairly instrumental in the last two title runs the Lakers have enjoyed. Even though he's a Nike-sponsored athlete, I don't think a "Pau Banner" tee is going to sell quite as well, except maybe in Spain and to people who love CBS serial dramas.
Conceptual problems aside, this is a nice shirt for Lakers fans as it's a nice way to rub their team's decades-long dominance of the NBA in the face of 28 other fanbases. Lakers enthusiasts will surely love that. It's not quite for sale yet, but it'll soon be available at Nike's online store. Maybe by then everybody will forget that it's called a "Kobe Banner" T-shirt and when someone wears it they won't have to explain the entirety of the previous paragraph. Dare to dream, Angelenos.
BDL Rating: 3 (out of 5) Muggsy Bogues