Four years ago today the Lakers made a trade that forever changed the landscape of the franchise. In a move that may go down in history as the ‘Kupchak Heist’, the Lakers acquired All-Star forward Pau Gasol for former number one overall pick Kwame Brown and a variety of other pieces.
The trade propelled the Lakers to the NBA Finals that season, where they ultimately lost to the Boston Celtics. But Gasol and the Lakers came back the following year to win the NBA championship for the first time since 2002. They followed that up with another championship the following year, avenging their ’08 loss to the Celtics by defeating Boston in a seven-game series for the ages.
Gasol is still a member of the Lakers, and still a crucial part to their success. No matter what happens this season or next, Pau Gasol will go down in history as a crucial part of the Lakers success, and the final piece of the championship puzzle.