"Kobe Bryant and Gianna have guided us, I still hear their voice"

"He was like a big brother to everyone," says Anthony Davis. Rob Pelinka wept as he remembered Kobe: "He told me he would change this team in three years."

"Kobe-Bryant-and-Gianna-have-guided-us-I-still-hear-their-voice"

The Lakers are the new NBA champions. His first title in a decade, the first after six years out of the playoffs in the worst crisis in franchise history. The Lakers are the champions of a very tough, and very long, season for the NBA and especially for them, a team that was in China when the crisis with that country broke out due to the tweet of Daryl Morey, last October. And that in January he had to deal with the death of Kobe Bryant. And then, like the rest of the franchises, with the pandemic that stopped the competition for more than four months.

The Lakers recovered the Black Mamba jerseys for these playoffs, the tribute to Kobe Bryant that was used as City Edition kit in the 2017-18 season. With her they won their first four playoff games (always the second, in memory of the number 2 with which the also deceased Gianna, Kobe's daughter, played). But they could not close the title in the fifth with that black jersey that they also had reserved for the seventh. Finally, they won the ring in the sixth game and in white, but Kobe Bryant was very present as soon as the Final ended and the celebration began. Anthony Davis was the first to make it clear: “Since that tragedy, all we wanted was to win for him. We have not disappointed you. We would have loved to win with his kit, but that defeat made us go into the sixth game more aggressive, with more force on both sides of the pitch to ensure that the Final ended here. I know he's looking down on us with pride. I know Vanessa is proud of us, of this franchise. It means a lot to everyone. It's hard. He was like an older brother to everyone. ”

Rob Pelinka, the vice president and general manager who has been the great architect of this champion project, was an agent and a close friend of Kobe Bryant. Pelinka couldn't hold back tears as she remembered Kobe after the game: “Looks like you were right, man. You have given me the energy to do this, "he said while remembering that Kobe assured him that he would turn the situation around the Lakers" in two or three years "when he came to the franchise, in 2017:" I still hear him a lot times in my head. He tells me to stay firm, to finish what I have started. There are not many greater gifts than having a friend who taught me what greatness was, what sacrifice was. That changed my life. Kobe and Gianna have guided this team throughout the journey. ”



Photos from as.com
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