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How villagers are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant, Lakers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Through the power of your Nook phone, you, too, can make your island the envy of all Lakers fans that play “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

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Photo courtesy of @kendr3w

With the NBA season on hold for the foreseeable future, Lakers fans have been forced to find a new escape from their normal day-to-day — and that’s especially true now that there’s a state-wide “stay at home” order in California. Luckily, the day after governor Gavin Newsom issued his executive order, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” came out on the Nintendo Switch.

Now, I’ll be honest: I hadn’t played any of the four games leading up to “New Horizons” (or the less-successful spin-offs), but after nine days of playing it non-stop, I wish I had. When you’re not fishing, picking fruit, cutting trees or crafting items to pay back Tom Nook — the raccoon founder and owner of the multi-billion-bell company, Nook Inc. — you’re creating your own personal dream island, and, naturally, Lakers fans are painting their island in purple and gold using the custom design tool on their Nook phone.

Lakers fans have also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by designing custom jerseys and dedicating parts of their island to him.

It should go without saying, but there are no bounds to how you can express your love for the Lake Show in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Plus, if you catch Mabel Able — one of the two hedgehog tailors that you run into on your island — on a good day, she may have basketball shoes for sale that you can wear with your custom jersey (I can neither confirm or deny that I paid 2,100 bells for said basketball shoes).

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is available now through retailers and the online Nintendo Store. This isn’t an ad for the game, but I, personally, can’t recommend it enough — it’s pure and innocent fun, which we could use plenty of right now.

In the words of Toom Nook: “That’s all for my morning announcements. Go out and enjoy another beautiful day on the island. Yes, yes!”

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.