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Lakers introduce Kobe Bryant with Darth Vader theme (VIDEO)

Dec 8, 2013, 10:40 PM EST

It’s hard to explain to people outside Los Angeles the buzz in the city around Kobe Bryant and his return to the Lakers. The Lakers radio home in the city ran promos that just used pronouns —”You’ve been waiting for HIM” and “HE is back” — and everyone just knew what that meant. 

So what did it look and sound like when Kobe was finally introduced? They went with Darth Vader’s “Imperial March.” Which plenty of Lakers haters think was appropriate. 

Heres’ the intro. Hat tip to Ben Golliver at SI for the video.

  1. timb12 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    That was underwhelming. Their announcer was very melancholy about the whole thing.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      Tanter’s style is to be understated. He doesn’t really try to upstage the moment and lets the crowd hype themselves. For reference, his other job is at a jazz music radio station. I like him, and for the most part I think Lakers fans do too, but there are others who wish he would put a bit more emotion into it.

      • timb12 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        If I just heard his audio I would have thought they were the away team. But I understand that, it just caught me off guard.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      I thought it was odd too. I think the standard for this (for a while at least) was the Bulls announcer Ray Clay in the 90’s – “aaaaaaaand now!” – and this fellow is the complete opposite of that.

      • asimonetti88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        Tanter has been working for the Lakers for close to 30 years. His style was the standard until the Bulls guy came along. Dr. Buss told Tanter to stay true to himself and not change his style.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        Well that’s just fantastic and we’re all happy for him, but it didn’t match the moment.

      • asimonetti88 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        Didn’t bother me, and I’m a Lakers fan. Hard to get more excited than to see one of the best players in Lakers history return from such a devastating injury, don’t need a PA Announcer to get me excited for that!

      • antistratfordian - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

        Could’ve used it. Especially since they decided to play the Imperial Death March over his introduction, with an announcer’s enthusiasm level more appropriate for a funeral.

  2. kingkershaw - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    He’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Is there any possibility that he is Vin Scully!!!

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      There is and only ever will be one Vin Scully :)

  3. antistratfordian - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Funny. The Imperial March (Vader’s theme) is what the Cavs blasted when LeBron was introduced back in Cleveland for the first time.

    • kinglorious - Dec 9, 2013 at 5:18 AM

      lmaooo no way!?

  4. odenxx - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Bueller…Bueller… Bueller…

  5. mannyicey - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Totally understood the choice in theme. Kobe sees himself as the bad guy. He must use that as motivation. I can totally understand that because when I was in athletics, I liked being booed more than cheered, too. It can fire you up and the music was to serve the NBA notice that the bad guy is back on the scene. Good look into Kobe’s psyche.

  6. vi3tguy415 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    THE ANNOUNCER SHOULD BE FIRED. WHAT A BORING VOICE. he TALKS just like Derek rose. no high/low tones. THEY NEED TO hire the UFC announcer Bruce Buffer. learn from him.

  7. csbanter - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The fact this is even a story says alot about the state of Laker basketball.

  8. mackcarrington - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Lawrence Tanter has a style and class. Most of the fans around the league are used to Corny, over the top, Bush league
    announcers. People in LA don’t need that Bush league, Mickey Mouse crap.

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