Rather than preparing for the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has spurred many to take a walk down memory lane amid the ongoing hiatus.
The Los Angeles Lakers faithful are fortunate enough to not have to look very far back to remember their glory days when this team was a championship contender under Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. They made it to three straight NBA Finals and were able to repeat as champions.
It was a crowning achievement to solidify their careers as future Hall of Famers. Unfortunately, it is still not the easiest watch for Gasol even to this day.
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Gasol admits that re-living it all still makes him emotional:
When Gasol did take a day off, he watched Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Boston Celtics. As he watched the entire game for the first time since winning a second consecutive title during his time with the Lakers, Gasol said he became “emotional” even though they won that championship a decade ago.
Gasol added that Bryant’s tragic passing just a decade later only adds to the heartbreak:
“All those people … now 10 years later they are not here with us,” Gasol said during an interview with The Times. “Obviously Kobe and Gigi, which breaks my heart every time I think about it, and seeing Vanessa and the kids. It was a lot. That’s why I got emotional and I think about it. I still do.”
Gasol’s comments are certainly understandable considering just how prevalent the relationship between him and Bryant was. The pair hit it off immediately when they became teammates during the 2007-08 NBA season and would go on to form quite a bond both on and off the court.
For Gasol, there is no relishing in the glory days without also having to be reminded about the sorrow of Bryant’s death. Fortunately, he can take solace in the fact that he was able to create so many historic moments with him.
It is safe to say that Game 7 against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center is undoubtedly one of them.
Both Bryant and Gasol had largely struggled to find their footing against an airtight Celtics defense, but they each managed to make up for it by kicking up their efforts on the glass after hauling a combined 33 rebounds to secure their second consecutive championship.