Entering the 2019-20 campaign, much of the NBA community was split on who would win the title. The Clippers, Bucks, Sixers, and Rockets were all considered contenders.
According to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, however, Gianna Bryant knew from the beginning that the Purple and Gold would be hoisting that trophy by the time it was all said and done.
“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 told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“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.’”
It was indeed the Lakers’ defense that won them the Championship. Anthony Davis and LeBron James led the way for the team on that end of the floor, making things insanely difficult for their opponents, especially in the playoffs.
Gigi Bryant, and her father Kobe, tragically died in a helicopter crash in February, which was a huge blow to the NBA community. Though they never got to see the Lakers bring home the title, they both had unwavering faith in the team even after years of subpar finishes.
In the end, LA got the job done, just like Gigi said they would.