Kobe and Gianna

Gasol Names Daughter after Former NBA Teammate Kobe Bryant’s Daughter Gianna

One of the most memorable events that happened this year for the NBA was the death of Kobe Bryant. Bryant or famously called the “Black Mamba,” was an icon in basketball and will always be a legend among Lakers fans and even in NBA history. 

On January 26th, he and his 13-year old daughter Gianna Bryant or “Gigi”, also nicknamed as Mambacita, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. They were travelling to Camarillo Airport for a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Like her father, Gigi had a passion for basketball and had dreamed of making it into the WNBA. Kobe also had big plans for his daughter and wanted her to reach those dreams. 

A Touching Tribute by Former NBA Teammate

The sweetest way to honour his friend and his daughter, Pau Gasol, gave his newborn daughter the name “Elisabet Gianna Gasol,” her middle name was taken from Gianna Bryant’s name. 

On his Instagram, Gasol posted, “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.” 

While his wife, Catherine, posted on hers: “Elisabet Gianna Gasol joined our family on September 10th, 2020. She made a quick and easy entrance on a VERY special day, her great-grandmother Elizabeth’s 100th birthday and her mom and dad’s 2nd engagement anniversary. We are already so in love with our sweet Ellie!! #GasolFamilyOf3 #girlmom #girldad #EllieGasol”

What is also touching in these posts is Pau and Catherine’s use of the hashtag #GirlDad. The hashtag trended worldwide as a way for fathers across the globe to pay tribute to Kobe after his death. It was a way to celebrate their relationships with their daughters.

Close Relationship with Kobe

Both Gasol and Kobe had played on the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 to 2014. In 2009 and 2010, they had won two NBA championships. The pair remained close until Kobe’s death. In the Players’ Tribune, a collection of stories that was compiled last August, Kobe’s former teammates and players who faced him recounted their experiences and moments with the remarkable basketball player. 

For Gasol, he wrote, “I don’t believe that Kobe ever took a break. It was championship mode, pure and simple. The six and a half years I played with Kobe were my best basketball years. I learned the most about my game, and a big reason was number 24.” 

Many basketball players and fans have been deeply affected by Kobe’s death, but they know that his memory and legacy lives on. The future of basketball is still promising, and legends and icons will rise. But of course, none will ever replace the Black Mamba.

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Mural of Kobe

“Black Lives Matter”: Vocalizing Racial Injustice in the NBA Games

The NBA games are off to a start as activities and events are held in none other than Disney World. Not many people might know this but on the southern edge of the Florida mega-resort is a 220-acre basketball, volleyball, football, competitive cheer and lacrosse complex also known as the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The NBA teams have begun arriving at Disney since July 7.

The recent games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers have made a few fans happy for the restart of the season. But, there has been something more prominent that has the NBA games in its grasp, something that is bigger than basketball.

“Black Lives Matter” in the NBA games

During the national anthem, every NBA player kneeled down wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts. These athletes have been vocal in their calls for social justice. In the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths, among many, it has caused a spark all around the world. This has led to protests against racisms, discrimination and most especially police brutality that has led to the many deaths of Black Americans. 

What NBA Players Think

Unsurprisingly, one of the leading NBA players that are pushing for reforms and social equality is none other than LeBron James.  

According to his interview with Turner Sports after the Lakers’ win in a game, Lebron stated, “The game of basketball has always been bigger than just a ball and a rim and 10 guys on the floor, four referees. We used this platform to spread a lot of positive, a lot of love throughout the course of the whole world.” 

The suspended season last March 11 due to the pandemic has made a lot of sports fans frustrated, and the league and NBA players hope to begin it again in a positive direction, by making an impact on the world and taking a stand.

“We understand what’s going on in society right now and we’re using this NBA platform as the players, as the coaches, as organizations to continue to stand strong on that.

“It’s a good start, it’s a good start tonight. It’s great to have the NBA back and I hope our fans are proud of us tonight,” James further stated.

The Importance of “Black Lives Matter”

Last June, James and prominent athletes such as Trae Young, Jalen Rose and more helped form the More Than A Vote. This was to protect Black voting rights. On the other hand, the NBA has made progress since one of the signature steps it has chosen to take to support their players is by having the “Black Lives Matter” statement right on the court for every NBA game in Orlando. 

But they still have a long way to go, and more work still needs to be done.

According to James, “In the past when we’ve seen progress, we’ve let our foot off the gas a little bit. We can’t do that. We want to continue to keep our foot on the gas, continue to push forward, continue to spread love throughout America.”

Basketball has shown that it is more than a sport and as can be seen from its players, no wonder many are avid supporters of the sport. It just goes to show that there is more to sports than meets the eye.

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Coach at Court

4 Famous NBA Coaches in Basketball History

The National Association of Basketball Coaches had announced that Craig Robinson, a collegiate basketball coach for years and is also known to be Michelle Obama’s brother, will replace Jim Haney as the head of the organization. Robinson most recently worked for the NBA’s New York Knicks.

In an interview, he stated, “I’m extremely honored and excited for this tremendous and vital opportunity. I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

When it comes to basketball, it’s not just the players that make up the team. Their coaches also serve as guides when playing the game. They are the ones who strategize and help the players overcome their opponents. You can say that they are vital to every team’s success. So, here are some of the best NBA coaches that have made their mark in basketball history.

Phil Jackson

Many think of Phil Jackson as the greatest coach of all time. This is because he retired with 11 championships under his belt. He was also known for having coached some of the best players. These include Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, and Pippen. His record is an amazing 1,155-485. Jackson also won the NBA Coach of the Year Award in the 1995-1996 season. And in 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Red Auerbach

This basketball coach is known as the “Godfather of the NBA.” For over 30 years, he was the coach and executive of the Boston Celtics and has helped them win 9 championships, 8 of which were consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. Auerbach had always understood the relevance of defense. He was the one who planned a pre-draft trade for Russell, who is still the best defensive center in league history. He has a record of 823-426, and in 1956 he won the NBA Coach of the Year Award. In 1969, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  

Pat Riley

Pat Riley was the NBA head coach for the Lakers during the ’80s. You could not miss the guy who was widely known for his slick backed hair and Armani suits. He had a career as an NBA coach for 24 years. He worked with the Lakers, who he won 4 championships with, the Knicks and the Heat, who he also won 1 championship with. This 5th win of his was done with the help of Dwayne Wade and Shaq in 2006. Many consider it a mix of style, which is why he’s considered such a formidable coach. Riley has a record of 1,210-694. He won the NBA Coach of the Year three times (1990, 1993 and 1997). In 2008, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Gregg Popovich

In 1996, Popovich was the general manager of the Spurs until he fired Bob Hill and became the NBA head coach himself. It proved to be the right decision because, in his 13-year career as a coach, he had helped the San Antonio Spurs win 4 championships and achieve 633 wins with only 305 losses. Popovich is also known to work well with Tim Duncan, which is one of the reasons why they had won all those championships. He has a record of 797-383 and is eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.   

Considering all of these outstanding NBA coaches, no one can deny their significance in the game. This is also one of the many factors that basketball fans and bettors consider when choosing their teams.

For instance, sports bettors will look for new sportsbooks or top online bookies to place their bets on a certain basketball team. One of the many things that they could factor in is how well rounded the team is. They will take into consideration the stats of not just the team but the coaches as well. This is because NBA coaches are also the ones who help plan how the game will go and what would be the better strategy for a winning outcome.  

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