The French national anthem echoed throughout the stands at Staples Center before the Los Angeles Lakers matched up against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, sending thoughts and prayers with all that have been affected by the recent attacks in Paris. Just a few months earlier, there was another attempted terrorist attack in Paris, this time in the form of a gunman attempting to attack passengers of an Amsterdam-to-Paris train in August. Five men, including Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, heroically put their lives on the line to successfully take down the gunman.
On Sunday, the three Americans were honored at Staples Center, presented with Lakers jerseys from team president and co-owner Jeanie Buss.
“This is a very special night for me. Ever since what happened in August with the attempted terrorist attack on the train in Paris, we have wanted to have you guys here as the special guest of the Lakers,” Buss said before the game. “Presented on behalf of Lakers Nation, I think you are going to feel a lot of love here tonight.”
Anthony Sadler, an avid Kobe Bryant fan, despite growing up in Sacramento, sported a purple Lakers t-shirt, the same shirt he wore the day on that train in Paris, hoping it would bring good luck to the Lakers on Sunday (it did!).
“It kind of comes full circle. I just happened to be wearing this shirt on that day, so I thought it was just appropriate to wear it today. I’ve always been a Lakers fan. It’s really cool to be here.”
Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler also met Kobe before the game, took photos and had prime time seats courtside, so close in fact, Bryant made his way over to high-five the crew after he nailed a three-pointer that put the Lakers ahead 85-74 with 3:44 remaining.
“It was awesome to see them,” Bryant said after the game. “We all think that in those type of situations we would behave in the same way, but once you’re in that situation it’s a completely different scenario and for those guys to just unconsciously just react and not think about themselves, but think about protecting others, is a story that should be sung every single day, because those are true role models.”
With the fatalities well over 100 and injuries reportedly over 300, after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos, think about what could have happened back in August.
“It makes me realize even more what could have happened if we weren’t able to do what we did that day,” Stone said. “I just feel for the people of France. I feel very connected to them. It’s just a sad situation.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the recent terrorist attacks and we thank Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler for the bravery they showed back in August.