The Los Angeles Lakers dedicated their 2020 season to Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. When they went on to win the NBA title, it seemed like the perfect tribute to two individuals who loved the game more than anything in the world.
This week, Lakers GM and Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka appeared on Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Woj Pod” and revealed the eerie prediction that Gianna made earlier this year.
“I remember Gigi looked at me and she said ‘Uncle Rob,’ — She calls me Uncle P because of my last name — she says ‘Uncle P, I’m watching this game, and I’m looking around … You guys are going to win the title this year,’” Pelinka said.
Antonio Brown doesn’t mess around. https://t.co/6kepeWGtBV
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 25, 2020
Like the true student of the game that she always was, Gianna then offered a thoughtful explanation for her prediction.
“I said ‘Gigi, why do you think that?’ She goes ‘your defensive size and length and athleticism. In the playoffs, it’s tough to make threes, and the rim gets smaller and guys feel the pressure, and just your size, and ability to cover space and take away the rim… teams aren’t going to be able to score on you. You guys are going to win the championship.’”
Pelinka went on to admit that Gianna’s prediction was right on the money.
“That’s kind of exactly what happened,” he pointed out. “If you think about Game 6, Miami just couldn’t score in the first half, and our defense is what carried us.”
Championship coaches do championship things. https://t.co/Rt7179e8TK
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2020
The Lakers GM also recounted what Kobe told him when he took over in his new capacity.
“I remember him looking me in the eye and saying ‘Hey, I know how you work,” Pelinka recalled.
“’I know how locked in you are. I know you’re a chess player. I think you’ll have the Lakers back winning a championship in two to three years.’
“I said ‘you’ve got to be crazy.’ We have no cap room, we had just signed a couple free agents — the previous front office — and we didn’t have any cap room … I looked at him like ‘you’re crazy, but I’ll put in the work to do it.’”
This year’s championship was the Lakers’ first in the last decade and 17th in the organization’s history. With the cornerstones that Pelinka has in place between LeBron James and Anthony Davis, LA will likely be competitive for years to come. Obviously they have some free agency stuff to deal with, but all in all, the squad is in a good place.
It went viral immediately. https://t.co/8yUQ5530ID
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 19, 2020
While this was the year that the Lakers officially dedicated their season to Kobe and Gianna, it’s safe to assume that it wasn’t a one-time thing.
Going forward everyone will silently dedicate all future campaigns to the most legendary father-daughter duo in franchise history. They will never be forgotten.