NBA 10 for 10 Round 2: Nigel and The Lakers
Who are you?
N: My name is Nigel Dunkley I am 24 years old and my favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers. You can follow me on IG @N.dunkley_
BC: Thanks for doing this interview with us Nigel. As some of you may not know that he went to high school with Phil back in the day. They even had some sport classes together which were always funny as hell. He is also a close family friend. Let’s get this interview started!!!!!!!
How’d you find out about the Lakers?
N:I started watching the Lakers in the 5th grade. I had already been playing basketball in some youth leagues but my bro Dre got me into actually watching NBA basketball. Originally, I gravitated towards watching a lot of D Wade but after I watched Kobe for some time I knew he was a different killer, I was all about that purple and gold and the rest was history.
BC: The Lakers are one of the most legendary teams in NBA history and has a deep and rich history to back it up. Also sometimes there is that switch or moment we know in sports that gives you the reason to root for a certain team and/or player. It just hits you and you realize this is the team or player I should be following for the rest of my life.
First reaction when you saw them play?
N:My first time watching the Lakers play live was back in 2016 during Kobe’s Farewell tour. I skipped one of my college final exams and drove all the way to Cleveland, Ohio to see one of his final matchups against LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Even though our roster wasn’t the greatest during that season, I was still hyped to see my guy play for the first and last time in person. More recently, I seen the Lakers play for the first time in LA at the STAPLES center which had always been a dream of mine growing up watching them play.
BC: It’s always a blessing and fun experience to see your favorite player or team live and it’s definitely worth missing a college final and taking a long road trip. Moments like that are once in a lifetime especially when it was Kobe’s farewell tour so each game was that even more important. Everyone should go see their favorite team live at least once or twice in their lifetime.
Favorite Lakers Game?
N:I’ve watched so much Lakers basketball this is a really tough question. I would have to say NBA finals Game 7 against Boston when Kobe and the Lakers take down the original super team Boston Celtics. Kobe’s final game against the Utah Jazz where he scores 60 points ranks pretty high up there for me as well. There is also the Western Conference Finals in 2009 against Denver where Kobe goes off for 40 in game 6 to end the nuggets. So many legendary Lakeshow games it’s hard to choose just one.
BC: The Lakers have such a rich and deep history so it’s hard to choose just one especially if you are trying to pick Kobe games. Kobe had some iconic games and moments that left fans in awe and he will truly be missed by not only Lakers fans but nba fans worldwide.
Team’s Biggest Regret?
N:The team’s biggest regret to me is signing Dwight Howard back in 2013 because had he just played how he is currently playing with the Lakers, Kobe would have 6 rings instead of 5 but I digress. Also, trading D. Russell to draft lonzo ball was a major L in my opinion they fell for the hype but I understand there were locker room issues too. I still think letting go Lou Will so quick was a mistake too.
BC: Dwight’s first trip to LA was such a disappointment due to injuries he really could have been a key part in getting Kobe another ring and continue to be one of the top big men in the league like he did in Orlando. With the Lonzo and D-Lo situation they definitely could have handled that better. They fell for the Lonzo hype and should have believed in D-Lo more despite the snitch situation. As for Lou Will it is always a L when you lose one of the best 6th men of all time.
Team’s Biggest Addition?
N:Biggest team addition has to be 2-time NBA champion, the Spaniard, Pau Gasol. After Pau and Kobe put in work during the 08’ Olympics in Beijing (go watch the film if you missed out), they would link up to win back-to-back NBA titles through 09-10’. I would also have to add the best big man in the league right now Anthony Davis to this conversation because he single-handedly changed the dynamic of our team by choosing to team up with LeBron James during the off-season.
BC: Kobe and Pak Gasol’s chemistry was truly magical when they could communicate in Spanish on the court and sometimes eye contact and body language. They know each other so well that they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so they have amazing chemistry like the orange juice chemistry in the NBA 2k story. Anthony Davis has been such a huge help to LeBron as they attempt to win the chip this year. They will need to have Kobe and Pau like chemistry if they plan on winning this year to honor Kobe.
Thoughts on who the greatest Lakers is?
N:The greatest Lakers players of all-time are Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson. In my opinion they both had major impacts during their respective eras with the purple and gold and not just on the basketball court. Besides, they both have 5 rings so we’ll call it a tie. Much respect to Kareem and Shaq too.
BC: Here at Baller Central if we had to think about it the greatest Laker of all time would be Magic Johnson. He is hands down the greatest point guard of all time and has multiple championships so with that evidence we claim him the greatest Laker ever.
Thoughts on Kobe and Shaq?
N:Kobe and Shaq are the greatest duo to ever do it. I put them up there next to peanut butter and jelly and cereal and milk, that’s just facts.
BC: Very tough and debatable statement right there Nigel. Dips like MJ and Scottie, Magic and Kareem, Stockton and Malone, and many others can claim their stake to the crown but Kobe and Shaq is a top 10 duo of all time in our opinion.
Thoughts on Lebron as a Laker?
N:Lebron’s first season with the Lakeshow was a real shit show but with the addition of A.D. they have bounced back in a major way and put the league on notice that we are coming for that 17th Championship banner. Adding Bron and A.D. is the best thing that has happened to the Lakers in the last decade.
BC: We completely agree AD could potentially be one of Lebron‘s best teammates behind D-Wade. They have the opportunity to win multiple titles for LA before Lebron ultimately retires and then AD can takeover when Lebron is done. They will need both of these guys on their A game in order to win the battle of LA against the Clippers and to win that coveted 17th championship.
Predictions for this season?
N:2020 NBA Champions in honor of the late Kobe Bryant..
BC: We see that as a huge possibility with only a couple of teams in their way. They will need everyone on the same page and firing on all cylinders since they lost playmaker Rajon Rondo and defensive specalist Avery Bradley. They will need Dion Waiters and JR Smith to be very productive to replace their production.
We would like to thank Nigel for taking time out of his day to do this interview with us. Make sure you follow his Youtube Channel and IG account @Hoopersrehab where he will be working with injured basketball players of all ages. They can book him for initial evaluations, reevaluations, rehab sessions, consultations and develop complete rehab programs. He will be uploading weekly on IG and Youtube starting on August 24th!!!!!! Check his personal IG mentioned earlier for more info!!!!! You know Baller Central will be subscribed and tuned in to that!!!! The Lakers have a very tough road ahead of them to capture that 17th championship to tie with also historical team and rival Boston Celtics. Will they do it? Tune in the NBA restart and find out.