Lakers Now Have +250 Odds to Win NBA Championship; Can They Do It for Kobe?

LeBron & Kobe embrace
Can the Lakers make a championship run in honour of Kobe Bryant? Photo from @TheDailyNews16 (Twitter)
  • Sportsbooks are offering prop on Lakers to win the title following Kobe Bryant’s death
  • The Los Angeles Lakers own the second-best record in the NBA 
  • Their Tuesday game vs the Clippers has been postponed as the organization mourns

The Los Angeles Lakers have been a frontrunner in the NBA Championship odds since Anthony Davis’ trade was announced last summer. Sportsbooks are offering a prop with yes/no title odds for the Lakers, following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers were due to play the Clippers on Tuesday night – the game has been postponed and will be played at a later date.

NBA games have started with shot-clock and backcourt violations, at 24 and eight seconds respectively, in tribute to Bryant. Kobe’s death will hang over the rest of this season, and players will be looking to honor Mamba in their own ways. Will the Lakers win the title for Kobe?

Los Angeles Lakers Championship Odds Prop

Prop Odds Odds
Will the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA title? Yes (+250) No (-275)

Odds taken Jan. 28.

Set For Special Season

LeBron James passed Bryant’s scoring record at the weekend, and the pair spoke on the phone following the game. A relationship that was more rivalry than friendship evolved since Kobe’s retirement. James and Bryant became closer, and were often seen interacting at Laker games.

The already great desire to win an NBA Championship may well have been taken to another level.

Bryant played for the Lakers for two decades. He has remained close to the organization since his playing career ended. The horrific news of Sunday night hit the franchise hard.

The Lakers were already title contenders. In the wake of Bryant’s passing, the players may look to channel his famous Mamba mentality. Bryant was, above all else, a ferocious competitor and a serial winner. The Lakers haven’t won a championship since 2010, but the players – like the 2010 team – could be inspired by Kobe.

Talent Level Reigns

This Lakers team has two legitimate MVP contenders in James and Anthony Davis. Their 36-10 record puts them comfortably clear in the Western Conference, and sets up home court advantage throughout the postseason (unless they meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals).

Frank Vogel is a Coach of the Year candidate, he has brought a new-look roster together and produced a team that is excelling at both ends of the floor.

Los Angeles’ record against upper-echelon playoff teams is the biggest criticism of them right now. A depleted Philadelphia 76ers beat them comfortably at the weekend, just a few days after a loss to the Boston Celtics. They have lost both of their games to the Clippers too, and suffered defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on December 19th.

The Davis and James pairing is what will make them such a scary playoff opponent. For all the star duos in the league, none have played with the same chemistry as Davis and James. The pair have, for the most part, stayed healthy and played hard.

Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal might have been the most unstoppable superstar teammates the league has ever seen. As the Lakers look to honor Black Mamba, James and Davis could write their place in the history books with the Lakers’ 17th NBA crown.

Challenging Months Ahead

The impact of Bryant’s death has been seen across the NBA. Tributes will continue to flow, and Kobe will remain in the minds of the basketball world. It is almost impossible to tell how this will affect the Lakers’ season.

Many people in the organization lost a friend. Some lost a hero. Fans are mourning a superstar athlete that brought them so much joy.

This Lakers team is good enough to win a title. It’s not often that neutrals want to see a purple and gold parade; it’s different this year.

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