from the death of Kobe Bryant to Covid, here’s what it contains- Corriere.it

A ring full of secrets. When a Jason Arasheben, jeweler of the stars (among his clients in Los Angeles singers like Jennifer Lopez, Drake and in the past the lamentation Michael Jackson) was commissioned to design and build for the Los angeles lakers the ring that testified to the victory of the 2020 Nba title, decided to do something that had never been seen before.

Transforming what, over the years, to conform to the tastes of the players, had become an increasingly showy jewel (the tradition of giving a ring to the winners of the championships was born in American baseball at the beginning of the 20s of the last century) and, let’s say truth, even rather tacky, in one casket of hidden references, of symbols that, even after many years, would have told the story of a basketball club, the Lakers, through the history of America and the world.

And here are the references to the death in January 2020 of the great former Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, as well as to the pandemic or social conflict born after the death of George Floyd and the overbearing emergence of the Blacks live matter movement. I wanted to tell a story – explains Arasheben to the “Los Angeles Times” – and for this I hid my Easter Eggs inside the jewel. The latter term, coined in 1979 by Steve Wright, the then director of software development in the Consumer division of Atari, means the insertion of hidden messages in a file of any type, as he did in the Adventure video game, in reference to an Easter egg hunt. But obviously Arasheben could not escape another reference this time much closer to his profession, namely that of the Easter eggs made between 1885 and 1917 by the great French jeweler Peter Carl Faberg for the Tsars Alexander II and Nicholas II who would have them later used as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers.

The call to Faberg eggs

As in the Faberg eggs, the rings created by Arasheben for the Lakers contain some surprises. Not always explicit in this case, even if perhaps always exposed in full view, but which can be read by those who know the meaning. Let’s go back to the ring then. That as in the evolution of the tradition of this type of jewelry more and more showy. With its 180 grams of gold and 804 precious stones it has a value of about 20 thousand dollars (just over 16,400 euros), but obviously its significance and the fact that it belongs to famous people makes it much more precious. Suffice it to say that at an auction last year, Kobe Bryant’s first NBA title ring sold for $ 189,000.

Secret messages

But let’s try to interpret the secret messages contained in the ring. First of all, the purple “L” of the logo made up of 17 amethysts, one for each of the 17 championships won by the Lakers in the history of the NBA. Each amethyst weighs 0.95 carats, and therefore tells the story of the pandemic exemplified by the number 95 or the 95 days that the Los Angeles players spent inside the Orlando “bubble” where all the NBA teams lived and competed to escape. at Covid. The yellow diamonds in the basketball-shaped background weigh 0.52 carats, equal to the number of Lakers’ regular season wins. But that’s not all. Because, twist, the ring opens. The cavity is covered with a metal worked to look like the skin of a black snake. This is an explicit reference to Kobe Bryant who was in fact nicknamed Black mamba.

On the edge then there is the writing unity unit, a message that was often repeated during the events of the Blacks live matter and that wants to express the strong conviction on the part of the Lakers of the need for greater social justice. Finally, inside the cavity the numbers of all the shirts withdrawn including Bryant’s two. A huge and difficult job. So the 71 days from the victory to the handover ceremony were barely enough. We delivered the last ring 30 minutes before the ceremony began – explains Arabeshen. Only one last doubt remains. Will the players who own them understand the deeper meaning?

January 22, 2021 (change January 22, 2021 | 13:44)

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