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.
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.