The Los Angeles Lakers are returning to paradise, not in the form of a championship parade, but in the view of a beautiful Hawaiian sunset. It has been dreadfully long for fans in Hawaii to be able to see the Lakers play in their home state. It has been eight years since the last time the Lakers played in Hawaii, during the 2007 campaign. This fall, the team will open their 2015-16 preseason calendar hosting the Utah Jazz on Oct. 4 and 6 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
The change in scenery to start training camp, along with assists from the stunning beaches and atmosphere, can help wash away the misery of last season and hopefully aid in the development of team chemistry. For myself and the other Lakers fans in Hawaii, this could be the last time we get to see Kobe Bryant play; our own special sunset. Hawaii has always been a home away from home for the Lakers. In a press release during January, team president Jeanie Buss spoke about the excitement and the importance of returning to Hawaii:
“Hawaii has been like a second home to the Lakers since my father first took the team there in 1988,” said Buss. “The love and support we’ve always received from the people in Hawaii has meant so much to us over the years, and we’re thrilled to be returning there next fall and seeing so many of our loyal fans.”
We all know that the past few seasons have been tough to endure for the Lakers; they deserve to be in a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere to start of their latest journey. The current roster is built up with mixture of rookies and veterans; the only player that was in Honolulu in 2007 is Kobe Bryant. Some of players on the Lakers roster have probably never been to Honolulu, and almost surely not together as a team. It will be a fun and worthwhile time for the team to explore and experience Hawaii and in the process come together closer as a unit.
In Hawaii, there is a motto that we like to live by; it’s called aloha which encompasses family, love, happiness and farewell all into one. Aloha is a fitting summary for the Lakers’ present and future, with Kobe Bryant on the verge of leaving and with the younger Lakers era taking over thereafter, they will be saying goodbye to their own while welcoming new members to the Lakers’ family. When the Lakers set foot in Honolulu at the end of the month, they will be surrounded with aloha wherever they go, and when they leave, hopefully they will take the spirit of aloha with them on the basketball court and in their personal lives. The Lakers’ season is nearly upon us, and it begins in Hawaii.