Sam: Half of a ship
Sam is also a part of the “ship” known as the S.S. Endurance , developed around her relationship with Lara.
The 20 years of Tomb Raider book recognized that S.S. Endurance fans form the biggest part of the fandom.
This box text proved that there is a place for Sam in the Tomb Raider series, if not as a love interest, at least as a best friend who would help Lara achieve her goal.
It is canon that Sam is Lara’s most important person in the world (and vice versa). You can’t erase their special bond as if it never happened, you can’t just remove Sam from Lara’s story. Sam matters. Bring Sam back!