Explosive Athletes Bring Hope to Laker Nation in Predraft Workouts

EL SEGUNDO, California — Zach LaVine came into the Lakers’ gym and nearly jumped out of it.

LaVine measured 46” with his vertical leap at the Los Angeles Lakers’ predraft workout Wednesday. (For comparison’s sake, no one has ever jumped higher on Draft Express’ all-time ledger that includes Nate Robinson at 43.5”, Vince Carter at 43” and Victor Oladipo at 42.5”.) The leap captured in photo by Lakers.com’s Ty Nowell—an image that is is taking the Internet by storm—actually isn’t even LaVine’s highest one.

LaVine was allowed a four-step lead-up, which helped, but he also explained: “I think I was pumped a little bit—ya know, the Lakers.”

LaVine, 19, later spoke with a level of articulation that had reporters privately praising his poise afterward: “I know everything about the Lakers. Me and my whole family are Laker fans.”

And to top it off, in honor of his “idol,” LaVine did it all wearing a pair of low-top Nike Kobe sneakers.

Ah, this is the kind of dreamy stuff that Lakers fans have been longing to arise from the Lakers’ highest lottery pick since James Worthy in 1982 and when Magic Johnson went No. 1 overall in 1979. The idea that the Lakers can pluck a future superstar with the seventh overall pick on June 26, someone who will be the next Lakers incarnation of both must-see activity and flat-out winning in warmly accepting the torch from Kobe Bryant.

Well, that’s a dream worth having.

And for the moment, everyone should just indulge it.

Lakers fans two years ago endured massive disappointment from unmet expectations, and then this season suffered enough nightly hardship to wind up in the draft lottery. Losing teams don’t have one-step solutions, even if you have heritage like the Lakers, s...

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