Kobe Bryant impressed Lakers’ 17th NBA Finals title
“Go Lakers!” Vanessa Bryant, Bryant’s widow and Gianna’s mother, posted on Instagram including a picture of the Lakers star and her basketball-loving daughter from the team’s 2009 championship party. “I wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”
Bryant’s former Lakers teammate and family friend, Pau Gasol, and his wife named their newborn daughter Elisabet Gianna last month. Like Kobe, he happily called himself a proud “Girl Dad”. “This one is for you, brother, for you, Gianna, for Vanessa”, he tweeted on Sunday and mentioned the three other daughters of the Bryants, “for Natalia, for Bianka and for Capri.”
The Lakers reminded everyone of Kobe and Gianna throughout the finale on their way to winning the National Father Daughter Day title. They wore the “Black Mamba” uniforms that Bryant helped design. You have met with a “1-2-3 Mamba!” Singing. They were wearing his shoes and t-shirts, and when Davis hit a three-point summer beater in Game 2 of the Western Conference final against Denver, he hit his chest and yelled, “Kobe!”
“Kobe’s presence was magical,” said Tim Harris, Lakers President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer, to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. “It was like playing six on five.”
For Davis, winning a championship was emotionally overwhelming and the Bryant factor was a big part of it.
“Since the tragedy, we’ve only wanted to do it for him and we haven’t let him down,” said an emotional Davis. ”… This is a tough moment. He was a big brother to all of us and we did that for him. “
Rob Pelinka, the general manager of the Lakers, is close to the Bryant family and felt the influence of Kobe and Gianna during a coronavirus-ruptured season that ended with the surreal scene in the NBA bubble.
“Kobe’s voice is always in my head, always, every day, every minute. … If we are able to win this championship, the loss will not be taken from us, but it will help us expand its legacy, ”he said. “The legacy of Kobe and Gianna will last forever. It will have a positive impact on life around the world, and this 2020 Lakers Championship is designed in part to build on and honor that legacy. The moment couldn’t be more special to do that for her.
“… There would be times in my hotel room – if you’re in a bubble for 100 days, it’s difficult. There would be times in the middle of the night, I would hear his voice, “Stay on course. Finish the task. ‘”
Back in LA, Lakers fans took to the streets celebrating the championship, as well as Kobe and Gianna.
The fans wore Bryant’s # 8 and # 24 jerseys, Gianna’s # 2 was also there. For them, the championship was personal in another way, just as it was for the players.
“I had to go up against Kobe Bryant when I was 21,” said Rajon Rondo. “So his game and his legacy speak for themselves. I am a kid from Louisville, Kentucky, so I could compete in the league with Kobe for two years, understand and learn so much from him by watching his movie and studying his movie. It’s definitely an honor.
“And to come full circle to win an incredible season that we had in his honor, the honor of his daughter. And to get my way and stay focused and keep getting the job done, I know something, he’s definitely smiling down on us. We can fulfill our dream and be successful with the championship. “