Lakers forward Pau Gasol tweeted a picture of a Kobe Bryant birthday cake (Pau Gasol/Twitter )
A day has passed since Kobe Bryant turned 34, but that's hardly going to prevent friends and Lakers fans from showering him with gifts.
Of course, the NBA's Larry O'Brien championship trophy remains the best present Bryant would ever want, even if he already has five of them. But no one can buy that. Not even Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. They may have built a championship-contending roster by acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but the Lakers still have to play together.
So that puts the onus on Bryant's friends and fans to come up with different gift ideas, if they haven't already. Below are a few suggestions.
1. Junk food. In a guest column on healthy living written for Village.com, Bryant recently revealed that he craves all types of junk food. He loves eating sugar cookies. After games last year, rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock often fetched him In-N-Out Burger. Bryant even proclaims he ate pepperioni pizza before dropping a career-high 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006, against the Toronto Raptors.
Yes, Bryant's trying to cut back, even losing 16 pounds before the 2012 London Olympics. But let him have a cheat day. Bake a cake featuring Bryant's uniform like Pau Gasol apparently did, as shown in the photo above. Drop off some sugar cookies Willingly take over the rookie duties and drive through In-N-Out. Considering Bryant's currently on vacation, he's allowed to enjoy some of his vices for a little bit.
2. Fountain of youth. OK, so some Laker fans may be uneasy feeding their favorite star junk food. Regardless of the fact Bryant often keeps himself in good shape, it may just give fans an uneasy feeling that any slight nuance could determine the difference between a Lakers NBA championship and a short playoff appearance. So help Bryant get healthier.
Invent a teleportation machine so Bryant can instantly go to Germany to receive procedures on his knees and ankles. Give that machine to Lakers trainers Gary Vitti and Judy Seto so they can treat Bryant at his house within seconds. Discover the literal Fountain of Youth so Bryant won't ever age again.
3. Buy some surfing gear. Bryant revealed on his Facebook page that he was going to spend some time "supervising" his 9-year-old daughter, Natalia, learning how to surf. Bryant made it clear he won't board because he doesn't want to injure himself. But it might ease Bryant's responsibilities if a fan donates a surfboard, a wet suit or even pays for private lessons. After all, Bryant likely has passed down to his kids that they need to pour full effort into any venture they pursue. So Natalia may as well learn how to surf from trained professionals.
4. UEFA Champions League tickets. Bryant's favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona, will participate in the group stage of this year's playoffs from Sept. 18-19. The pairings haven't been finalized yet, but it would never hurt to get a jumpstart early on securing tickets. A trip tp Spain to watch FC Barcelona could provide a nice respite just before Lakers' training camp starts. It'd also be a good way to spark Bryant's competitive juices.
Kobe Bryant's 34th birthday a reminder of how he's evolved