LOS ANGELES – For Norvel Pelle, the past few days have been special.
The Long Beach, Calif. native grew up a diehard Kobe Bryant fan and attended a few Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers games.
Now, the 76ers rookie has been back home since Saturday to play against those teams in the arena in which his late basketball hero, and former Lakers great, used to dominate.
The Sixers played the Lakers on Tuesday night, two days after losing, 136-130, to the Clippers.
“It’s been good,” Pelle said before Tuesday’s game of playing his hometown teams in the Staples Center. “I’ve dreamt about this many times. Came to many games, sitting in the stands, watching other players play. Now I get an opportunity to actually play in the Staples Center and be on the floor, a major dream come true.”
Pelle said he gets goosebumps before every game. However, he was more anxious before the Sunday’s game with the Clippers.
“I had my peoples in the stands, and it’s like I don’t want to disappoint. I don’t want to mess up," the reserve center said. “Now, it’s like just go get the job down.”
Pelle played just 2 minutes, 28 seconds against the Clippers, grabbing one rebound.
Lakers forward LeBron James and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum were named the Western and Eastern Conference players of the month, respectively, on Tuesday, for games played in February.
James averaged 26.0 points, 10.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds while leading the Lakers to a 9-2 record during the month. Tatum averaged 30.7 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 48.1% on three-pointers. The Celtics finished the month with a 9-3 record.
Tobias Harris has quietly become one of the Sixers’ most consistent players.
The forward has scored 20 or more points on 29 occasions heading into Tuesday game. That tied him for the team lead with three-time All-Star center Joel Embiid, who missed his third consecutive game with a left shoulder sprain.