The NFL has finally returned to the city of Los Angeles after a 20-year absence. Ironically enough, the end of the NFL football hiatus in Los Angeles also marks the end of an era in Lakers basketball with Kobe Bryant walking away from the NBA.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is now enjoying retirement and Los Angeles Rams star, Todd Gurley, hopes the five-time NBA champion will take in some Rams games with all the extra time on his hands. Gurley wants to recruit Bryant to become one of the Rams faithful as a season-ticket holder. In an interview with Melissa Jacobs of Sports Illustrated on April 19, Gurley said he’d if he could pick any celebrity to become a Rams star, it would be Kobe:
MJ: Last thing. Now that the Rams are in Los Angeles, the franchise is supposed to bring in a new celebrity contingent when you move into your fancy stadium. Pick one celebrity you’d like to see become a Rams fan.
TG: I guess I’d like to see Kobe Bryant get some season tickets. Make sure you tweet that out to him.
The Rams will try to win over a lot of new fans in Los Angeles this year with the team playing their first game back in the City of Angels during the NFL preseason on Aug. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Head coach Jeff Fisher and company will open their regular season in the Bay Area against the division rival San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 12 followed by their home opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 18.
After an incredible rookie season last year, Gurley has quickly become a star on the rise and arguably the face of the franchise. During an interview with Shahan Ahmed of NBC LA, the star running back was called the face of the Rams franchise and the 21-year-old reacted by saying the following:
I wouldn’t say all that,” Gurley laughed when NBCLA.com caught up with the running back and referred to him as the ‘face of the franchise’ in LA. “Hopefully, we keep winning…and hopefully, I can be the face of the Rams.”
Along with relocating back to Los Angeles, the Rams recently pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft from the Tennessee Titans. The struggling franchise will likely aim to bring in a franchise quarterback to pair with Gurley setting up a promising future. California’s Jared Goff and Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State are the two quarterbacks in the team’s crosshairs ahead of the draft.
As for the Lakers, the storied NBA franchise will continue the building process this summer. Los Angeles will attempt to replace Kobe Bryant with a superstar like Kevin Durant, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to do so. The team may have to settle for another high draft pick and trying their luck at luring in other free agents come July 1.