NBA : Huerta for Cobby: “He tried not to cry, not to say goodbye to him in Boston” (Video


Tης Eurohoops team/

He saw up close the love of the world on his face, friends and enemies. Especially those, like the Celtics who reserved the most moving farewell to him.
He met, lived Kobe and the “mamba mentality”, he was a teammate with one of the best players of all time.

Huertas remembers what happened then in 2016 to the Lakers, giving an interview to CosmoteSport:

-What were the elements that made the biggest impression on you, when you were teammates?

“It was the history and the legacy he had already left behind. It was very impressive. What everyone was saying about his mentality, about mamba mentality. The way he prepared himself, the way he trained, how he pressured his teammates. How he did not care about people’s feelings. If hurting their emotions was what it took to win games and championships he would do it. That’s how he thought about basketball. “

-Did you speak Spanish with him as he did with Pau Gasol?

“I always spoke English to try to show the utmost respect, but he would suddenly come and tell me something in Spanish or Italian, because he grew up in Italy because of his father and he also knew that I also knew Italian.

It was always a surprise, you approached him and suddenly he could speak to you in any language. But it was fun, because it showed that he felt comfortable next to me, even if I was only there for a year. He always had a special relationship with the “international” players and I felt that he respected me a lot and a great honor. To be next to him and to feel that the guy wanted to talk to me “.

-It was strange for you that Kobe knew who Spanoulis was, who Juan Carlos Navarro was.

“Not at all. He grew up a bit in Italy and had definitely seen a lot of European basketball. Cobby had a different approach and mentality, not only in basketball, but in his lifestyle as a whole. He was not a typical American player, he was interested in the culture of other countries and other sports.. He was not only a fan of basketball, we had seen him go to different places around the world and watch football matches and he certainly knew who all these basketball players were “.

-It was a strange season for the Lakers, due to Cobby’s farewell journey, was there a specific moment in that season that you single out so far?

“A lot. It was very moving to be a part of it and to participate in all the shows in its final season, especially when we were playing away from home. It was incredible to see the love and affection he had throughout the country. I would say that in Boston was the most impressive moment, because of the rivalry he had for so many years.

The audience used to hate him, they hate the Lakers, but that day something unique happened. Seeing the whole Garden standing applauding, singing his name…

The fan who wrote that incredible letter. Everything that was written on the main screen about him before his presentation. He was trying to hold back his tears and everyone around him was trying to do the same, because it was something no one expected going to Boston. and that showed how great a player you are and how great is the legacy you leave behind, even if you play against your biggest opponent ”.

– Now let’s go to the last game of the season against Utah. What was the atmosphere like before the match?

“You could see that he was very focused in the locker room. He had a different style on his face. He was trying to enjoy every moment. It was obvious that he was focused and on a mission. He did not want to leave the image of “Cobby last season”, with all the matches he had lost, with the injuries, with the fact that he could not perform as he was used to. It must have hurt him. So I imagine he said, “Okay, I’ll leave, but I’ll leave the front door and make another statement. One last statement. “

It was just unbelievable. You saw his face in the time-outs, inside the floor and had that crazy look of a winner. He was just different. He would come to the bench, his coaches would talk and he would just breathe, stare into space, without his gaze going to the audience. There was so much going on around him, there were so many famous people around him watching his last match at the Staples Center and he didn’t care. He just wanted to give his last show “.

-Do you remember any of your assists to him in this particular match?

“Once in the second half of the surprise, someone tried to take the ball from me in the center of the pitch, I did some triples and I saw him coming from the left side, I gave him the ball in front of the Utah bench and he scored the three-pointer. It was the beginning of our counterattack and it was the last phase I can remember “.

-How was the atmosphere after the match in the locker room?

“She was crazy. Everyone was opening champagne bottles, he was exhausted, but at the same time he was obviously excited to end his career that way.
I remember we gathered in the center of the locker room and one of the champagne bottles opened on its own. “I think Byron Scott was talking and all of a sudden he started throwing champagne everywhere.”

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