With photographs by award-winning photographer Lori Shepler, Life · Vida spans 16 easy-read chapters and over 200 pages of vivid photos, taken by Shepler across four years in two countries, accompanied by text in both English and Spanish. There are three forewords in the book, written by Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Juan Carlos Navarro. Bryant’s touching foreword has already made waves with the title, “If I Could Choose My Brother,” which is a true testament to a meaningful and deep bond between two friends. Basketball, though, is hardly the focus of the book. The uniqueness lies within the authenticity of the photographs, which illustrates the multi-faceted nature of the fun-loving Spaniard.
A Spaniard that has allowed photographer Shelper into some of the most vulnerable parts of his life, including the day the Lakers agreed to trade him back in 2011, a tumultuous and insecure time. Her photos provide you with a sense of Gasol’s ordinariness. Who doesn’t sing in the shower, take selfies with your siblings, bend down to the bottom shelf at the grocery store, look uncomfortable in a dentist’s chair, drown in boredom at the gas station, check yourself out in a new outfit, soak up the sun-rays at the beach, have trouble carrying two suitcases up a flight of stairs, or take a dip in the pool? Of course, there are also photos of things that not everyone else gets to do, like watch surgeries, throw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game, or be the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children’s Fund.
You’ll also learn plenty about Gasol that you never knew. Did you know the he’s quite the wine connoisseur and would love to be part of a Spanish deli? Or, that he actually knows how to read his own MRI and won’t travel on a plane unless he absolutely has to. How about that he’s an adamant vocalist with a love for all types of musics, including rap. Or, that his pre-game routine always involves an hour-long nap and his family exchanges mostly home-made gifts for Christmas. What about that Bryant and Gasol sometimes communicate in Spanish on the court so others don’t know what they’re saying?
These are just a few of the many facets that make up the seven-footer. Don’t forget, Gasol will be signing books tomorrow, November 19th, at The Nike Vault. Books will be available for purchase.
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