Trevor Ariza Rocks Vintage Kobe Bryant Lakers Jersey While in Philadelphia

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

Mar 22, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) guards Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) on a last second pass in the fourth quarter of the game at the Staples Center. Wizards won 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

In the face of the Dwight Howard-Kobe Bryant spat, one that may well be extremely overblown, Trevor Ariza is making it perfectly clear that not everyone in the NBA is against the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. 

July 22, the Washington Wizards small forward was spotted strolling down the streets of Philadelphia while wearing a vintage Kobe Bryant jersey (h/t Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News):  

Make no mistake about it. This was an intentional show from Ariza, who wouldn't have posted the photo to his Instagram account otherwise. It was enough for him to wear the jersey publicly in the first place, but to display the picture for everyone who didn't see in person? 

It's a nice display of enduring affection from a player who still credits the Mamba for his breakout year in 2008-09. Kobe's work on Ariza's shooting stroke helped create a massive uptick in performance, and that, in part, helped lead the Lakers to a championship. 

The two have since parted ways, but this sentiment has to leave you wondering: could Ariza be hoping for a reunion next year? 

His contract expires at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, and he could presumably take a pay cut to join forces with Kobe in Tinseltown. L.A. certainly has the cap space, after all. 

It's way too soon to worry about Ariza's impending free agency, though, as he exercised his player option and remained with the Wizards for a reason. He's gunning for the playoffs right now, hoping to provide some veteran leadership alongside John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. 

If he can play like the man who originally wore that No. 8 jersey, things will be looking good in D.C.

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