It has been a good few weeks for the Los Angeles sports scene. The Los Angeles Lakers won the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament and on the very same day, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani signed a record-setting contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lakers fans and Dodgers fans go hand-in-hand as the two most popular sports teams in Los Angeles. The winter is all about watching the purple and gold while the summer is all about watching the Dodger Blue. Every sports fan in Los Angeles knows this.
The two franchises have a long history of supporting each other and it now appears that the Dodgers owe the Lakers a bit of a favor after the Ohtani signing. During the Dodgers' pitch to Ohtani, the team played a video that Kobe Bryant recorded back in 2017 to help recruit the Japanese superstar to the Dodgers.
With Kobe being the perfect symbol of winning in Los Angeles, this video resonated with Ohtani. Ohtani admitted as such, via Alden Gonzalez and Jeff Passan of ESPN.
"That was one of the highlights of the whole meeting,” Ohtani told ESPN through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. “I was really surprised to see it. It was a strong and touching message."
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant helped bring Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers
If there is anyone who knows what it takes to win it is Kobe Bryant and him doing that favor for the Dodgers obviously meant a lot to Ohtani. Even though Kobe is no longer with us, he is still having an immense impact on the city of Los Angeles.
That is why he is the most popular athlete that has ever played in LA and will ever play in the LA.
The connection between the Dodgers and the Lakers continues to solidify and it would not be surprising now to see Ohtani do something with the Lakers. Maybe he will pop up and sit courtside in the next big-time Lakers game. If he does, we know LeBron James is definitely going to pay his respect.
The Lakers also now have an IOU to throw the Dodgers' way next time they are chasing a big-name superstar. Heck, maybe the Lakers can call on a favor from Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, or even Ohtani himself when there is a superstar on the market (looking at you, Jayson Tatum).