Pau Gasol was protagonist in the start of the Weekend of the Stars in the NBA. The American League opted for the Spanish pivot and a female NBA legend, Sue Bird, to deliver the presentation speech of the Rising Stars Challenge, the match between first and second-year US players against the Rest of the World (151- 131 for Americans).
Pau was especially excited when he left the center of the United Center court in Chicago. The two-time winner of the NBA ring with the Lakers uttered some very emotional words remembering who he considered his older brother, who died with his daughter Gigi and seven people in a helicopter accident. Pau also remembered David Stern, a former League Commissioner who passed away on January 1. “We are delighted by the luck of being in Chicago. We can’t wait for this weekend to start, but we can’t do it without remembering David Stern and my great friend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, ”he said, that he had to take a breath several times so that his tears didn’t skip .
Sue Bird highlighted the influence of Kobe and Stern in the globalization of basketball: “Their contribution is impossible to measure. The influence they had on the court and in the game cannot be forgotten. ” After the public chanted Kobe’s name, Pau resumed the word: “These days we have to contribute to his legacy. Kobe used to say that you always have to do epic things, so let’s have an epic weekend in his honor. ”