Newest Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent is coming off a solid playoff run with the Miami Heat, who were an eight-seed and made it all the way to the NBA Finals. Vincent would earn himself a little bit of a payday with a three-year, $33 million contract with the Lakers in hopes of replicating that postseason run and bring championship No. 18 to L.A.
Vincent has been a part of the two NBA Finals runs with the Heat, one during the 2019-20 season when matched up with the Lakers and this season against the Denver Nuggets. Ultimately, he has come up short in his two Finals appearances, although maybe that fortune will turn with the Lakers.
However, it seems that the California native has something that would weigh more than an NBA championship. He made an appearance on The Old Man & the Three Podcast with JJ Reddick and Tommy Alter and shared that a gold medal with Nigeria, the national team he plays for, would mean more to him than an NBA ring:
“For me personally, I have been really looking forward to raising that Larry O’Brien Trophy. But, knowing how much it would mean to the 400 million-plus people in Nigeria, let alone the one point something billion in the continent of Africa. That’s a hard one to pass up, you know getting a gold medal, especially in this sport where you know African teams haven’t had much a footing. Not only would it be fulfilling and great in its own way, but I think legacy wise, it would stand taller, stand a little longer. So, I’m gonna reluctantly have to say gold medal with Nigeria, I think that would just be epic.
Vincent seems eager to lead Nigeria to a gold medal and place the continent of Africa on the map. Back in the 2020 Olympics, Team USA lost to Nigeria 90-87, the first time Team USA has ever lost to an African Nation. That had to have been an incredible moment for Vincent and his teammates.
That USA team had the likes of Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Bam Adebayo. Nigeria had fellow NBA players as well with Josh Okogie and Precious Achiuwa.
While Vincent does want to help the Lakers get No. 18, he sees Nigeria turning a corner in basketball and wants to continue to build upon that, which is very respectable.
Gabe Vincent not a fan of the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament
Another topic of discussion recently has been the inauguration of the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament that kicks off in November of the 2023-24 season. However, it seems like Vincent is not a fan of this new addition.
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