There was a time when the Los Angeles Lakers were the most dangerous team in the league and they were the favorite to win the title. The Lakers were able to claim two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, and fans were hoping to continue the dominance.
However, things changed rapidly and the Lakers are now at the bottom of the Western Conference. The dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol is no longer troubling opponents in the pick-and-roll, and there is very little excitement coming from the Lakers.
After the eighth straight loss on Thursday night, Gasol spoke about the current state of the team, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Pau Gasol to @daldridgetnt on this rough Lakers season being KB's last: "As a former Laker, it's hard to see how things have changed."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 29, 2016
Gasol was an integral part of the team’s success during his tenure in Los Angeles, and he changed the franchise’s fate overnight. The Spaniard was acquired mid-season in 2008 and he instantly turned the Lakers into title contenders. That very year, Los Angeles reached the NBA Finals and the team ended up winning the next two championships.
Now, Gasol is on an Eastern Conference contender with the Bulls and the Lakers are rebuilding to once again reach their former glory. Los Angeles is hoping to recreate another dynasty and fans can only hope to something close to the lethal Bryant-Gasol combination.
In Gasol’s final visit to Staples Center in Kobe Bryant’s career, the big man finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in a 114-91 win. As for Bryant, he came back after missing a few games due to injury with ten points, four rebounds and three assists.