As 2018 – 19 season comes to its penultimate stage, it feels like yesterday when Kobe Bryant was still the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA where he won his 5th and Final NBA Title nine years ago with the Purple and Gold.
It was one of the Lakers most compelling series against the long-time Eastern Conference rivals, Boston Celtics. The Lakers dominated the opponents in scoring, the running pace, the size on the court and the plans executed by the legendary coach Phil Jackson.
Now 9 years later, only one out of the 2010 roster is still actively playing in the NBA. With a still young squad in 2010 let’s have a look where rest of the 2010 Lakers squad have landed up.
To start off the list of players, we rather give shout – out to the coach Phil Jackson 1st
• He won his final title with the Lakers in the year 2010 which was final of his career as a head coach which accounted to 11 in his overall coaching career. He holds the record of securing most NBA Rings as a coach.
• He coached his final season in 2011 where the defending champions were defeated in the 2nd round of NBA Playoffs against the Dirk Nowitzki lead Dallas Mavericks.
• In the year 2014, he was announced as the President of the New York Knicks franchise where he signed up a 5 year 60 million contract which is considered to be the lowest point of his basketball career where his coaching genius failed to translate the front office.
• He signed the 2010 championship winning way out of the prime which included Shannon Brown and also Lamar Odom. Brought in Derrick Fisher as a head coach, also signed D.J Mbenga, Sasha Vujacic which thereby reunited the former Los Angeles Lakers team, called out the existing players and questioning their capabilities and also had a fall out with the players.
• In the summer of 2017, he was finally fired of his duties due to poor decision making and it is very sad to not see him around the NBA for more than a year now. Currently, he is enjoying his spiritual journey and traveling around the world.
Now we list down the players in the 2010 Championship winning squad:
1. D.J. Mbenga
● Mbenga is currently 38 years old who played for the New Orleans Hornets post the 2010 Championship season who was then immediately picked up by Phil Jackson in the New York Knicks who did not make it to the squad post season.
● He was currently seen attending Dirk Nowitzki’s final home game.
● He was one of the 132 players who registered in the Big 3 League.
2. Adam Morrison
● He is considered to be one of the biggest busts in NBA history. After a legendary college career at Gonzaga.
● 2010 was his final season in the NBA where he played his final game against OKC in game 5 of the Playoffs and he is still just 34 years today. He never got in a proper game form after he tore his ACL in season 2 of his NBA career where he was playing for Charlotte Bobcats.
● He then played overseas for a few years, also tried to make a comeback with the Trailblazers and the Wizards which was a failure.
● He went back to the school to finish his Graduation and therefore saved on the money he earned to live a happy life post NBA career.
● Now he serves as a Radio Commentator for Gonzaga Basketball.
3. Sasha Vujacic
● Sasha who is currently 35 years old last played with the Knicks in 2017 where Phil Jackson.
● Then played with Italy afterward where he won the 2018 edition of the Italian League where he gave a try-out with the New Orleans Pelicans before the 2018 season started where he failed to make into the squad.
● After failing to make a cut with the Pelicans, he signed with second Italian Division with Verona.
4. Josh Powell.
● He was just selected 4th overall in the 1st round of the Big 3 League for the team Killer 3’s who is 36 years old today.
● He last Played in the NBA in 2013 – 14 season with the Houston Rockets.
5. Jordan Farmar
● Currently, only 32 years old who is desperately looking for an NBA return.
● He last Played with the Sacramento Kings in the 2016 – 17 season where he was waived of just after 2 seasons.
● It seems to be very difficult for Farmar to make a comeback in the NBA.
6. Luke Walton
● Walton who parted ways with the Lakers after failing to qualify for the Playoffs this season was hired as the Head Coach of the Sacramento Kings just a day after parting with the Lakers.
● After retiring in 2013, he got into coaching and was an immediate success as an Assistant Coach of the Golden State Warriors where he lasted for 3 seasons before moving to the Lakers.
7. Shannon Brown
● One of the most underrated highflyers in the NBA who is memorable for his insane high flying dunks in the day.
● He last played in the 2014 – 15 season with the Miami Heat and after Miami went to the G – League.
● Last Played in 2018 with a G – League affiliate Delaware 87ers.
8. Ron Artest (Metta World Peace)
● He last played in the NBA with the Lakers in 2016 – 17 season then played in the Big 3 league with the Killer 3’s.
● He has been currently working on a Documentary about his story which is named ‘Quiet Storm’ which will be premiering on Showtime on May 31st.
9. Andrew Bynum
● Andrew Bynum tried to make a comeback in this Offseason is still finding a way to make a return with a team in the NBA
● His career was cut short by injuries and has not played since 2013 – 14 season where he last played with the Indiana Pacers where he was 26 years old during that time.
● Now let us see if Traditional Centres are still being preferred over the modern ones.
10. Derek Fisher
● Fisher retired in 2014 as a member of OKC Thunder was hired by the New York Knicks post - retirement as the Head coach in a 5 year 25 million dollars deal which is credited to Phil Jackson being the President of the Knicks.
● He lasted one and a half season with the Knicks and now will enter his 1st season as a WNBA coach of the Los Angeles Sparks
11. Lamar Odom
● He came up with a lot of adversity after the Chris Paul Trade happened where he felt disrespected and demanded trade to the Dallas where he did not find his rhythm with the Mavs and then parted ways with them.
● Had a mental breakdown post this scenario then played all 82 games with the Clippers in the 2013 season where he averaged just 4 points.
● Post this he still battled depression, further fell into a coma and was then hospitalized with life - threatening situation where he was on a ventilator.
● Had a lot of personal issues in his personal life, but will make a comeback now with the Big 3 League as the Co – captain of the Enemies team.
12. Pau Gasol
● He is the only active player in the NBA from this championship team where he currently plays with the Milwaukee Bucks.
● After leaving Lakers he joined the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs before joining the Bucks.
● He turns 39 next season which could probably the last season of his career.
13. Kobe Bryant
● The Finals MVP of the 2010 Championship season. He retired in 2016. He is having an incredible retirement as a Businessman, author, CEO and also a Producer.
● He owns a company called Kobe.INC where he helps brands to grow in the sports industry and also a 10% stock owner in Body Armour which is now valued in Millions.
● Won an Academy award for his animated short film ‘Dear Basketball’ and going to win an Oscar for the same.
● Currently, he mentors young players and also works in bringing out women’s basketball in the country
This was the squad for you. It feels just like yesterday when Kobe won his 5th championship.
With the arrival of LeBron James this season and the young guns around him, it will be an impatient wait for all the Lakers fans to see them back in the playoffs and finally to bring back gold the Staples Centre.