It is the year 2010. Seventh game of the Final. Lakers and Celtics, the two largest dynasties in the NBA, with the knife between the teeth. The most intense match Pau Gasol ever played. And a happy ending: « I ended up almost in a state of shock, » the Spaniard assured Efe.
Act. 06/18/2020 at 1:18 PM
They painted clubs for Californians that June 17: 14 points in the first quarter (negative record in Finals history) with 6/27 in field goals, a very erratic Kobe Bryant and 13 down in the third period.
But there was comeback, with unforgettable actions such as Ron Artest’s triple or Gasol’s own basket over Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce with 1:30 left.
« I think that in those moments the identity, the character and the union of that team come out, » the Catalan confessed. « We show tremendous cohesion; a fortitude, a conviction in ourselves, and we did not give up even though things were not going well for us. We were not right at all & rdquor ;, added Marc Gasol’s older brother.
The legs weighed like a slab after a very hard series. The nerves, even more. And they were flying over the ghosts of the past, when in 2008 the Celtics subdued their great rival in the Final. However, carried away by the breath of the 20,000 souls at the Staples Center, the hearts of the defending champions (against Orlando in 2009) beat again.
« The emotions were very intense and the pressure very great. We were down on the scoreboard, but we kept working, fighting every possession and we managed to win an epic and historic game for all & rdquor ;, he stated.
“I remember that feeling of satisfaction, joy, euphoria and maximum emotion. I have never competed in a match as intense as that & rdquor ;, argued the exazulgrana.
The joy was full. Fatigue, exhausting. And the emotion, through the clouds. « After that game, it took me hours to sleep and it wasn’t because I was out celebrating& mldr; I was almost in a state of shock, absorbing and digesting what we had just experienced & rdquor ;, he noted.
Kobe Bryant and his family, on the celebration road | PHOTO AUTHOR
Although Bryant finished 6/24 on the shot, he was chosen best player of the Finals. However, on the 24th it was always very clear who made that outcome possible. « During the pandemic, I saw the game for the first time in its entirety and I was very moved because Kobe spoke a few words to me at the end, when they gave him the award, which I did not hear at the time, » explained Gasol.
Bryant referred to him as follows: « I don’t have enough words for Spanish. That guy is amazing. It is a player scandal. We would not have won without him & rdquor ;.
The mythical escort repeated that public recognition on numerous occasions throughout the years. Even He told Efe in 2018: « When Pau retires, he will have his number at the top of the pavilion. The reality is that we would not have won those two titles without him & rdquor ;.
Gasol still breaks when he remembers the late Bryant. « It is very difficult to explain in words our connection and transmit what we were able to develop both on and off the track. It was beyond friendship & rdquor ;, appreciated.
Gasol’s second ring and Bryant’s fifth. A couple sublimated forever in the angelina psyche. A stellar level, the one reached by the Spanish, who, he argued, owes to the requirement of peers, coaches and physical trainers.