It has been 10 years since the Los Angeles Lakers played in the Western Conference Finals, with their last appearance ultimately leading up to the storied franchise’s 16th NBA championship. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were the leaders for the Lakers that year and the tandem’s chemistry both on and off the floor was well-documented throughout.
Bryant and Gasol’s close relationship was only strengthened when the pair won two titles together, forever linking the two.
When Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine passengers that died in a tragic helicopter accident, it shook the basketball world to its core. Gasol opened up about his friend’s death and how it affected him personally, a heartbreaking situation for everyone that knew the five-time NBA champion well.
Gasol was not only close with Bryant but his family as well and the group has been spending more time together in recent months. Recently, Gasol and his wife Cat welcomed a baby girl to the world and decided to name her after Gianna.
Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol 😍, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! ❤️👨👩👧 #girldad pic.twitter.com/rmXWk0BTFz
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) September 13, 2020
It is an incredibly heartwarming gesture and one that only strengthens the bonds between the Bryant and Gasol families as they look to heal and recover from such a horrible event.
Vanessa Bryant shared her appreciation for the gesture in her own social media post, and also referenced being Gianna’s godmother.
LeBron James prepared to restore Lakers back to glory
After closing out the Houston Rockets in Game 5, the Lakers are heading back to the Western Conference Finals.
Instead of Bryant and Gasol, it is LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way this time and the superstar pairing has looked dominant so far. However, all eyes will be on James as he chases his fourth NBA title.
Being a Laker comes with higher expectations, but James is well-aware of what he needs to do. “I know what my name comes with, and it comes with winning,” he said.
“I take that responsibility to the utmost than anything, because I am a winner and I’ve always been a winner from the first time I ever played organized basketball. I understand the Laker faithful and what they felt or were going through of not being in the postseason, not competing for championships and whatever the case may be.
“I took that responsibility as well. I’m happy I’m able to do a little part of it with the rest of my ballclub and the coaching staff and everybody that’s sacrificed in trying to get this franchise back competing for a championship, which we’ve done all year.”
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