Lakers hand out t-shirts, put on video tribute and fans give standing ovation…
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Chicago Bulls star Pau Gasol returned to the Staples Center on Thursday night and received a great ovation from the Los Angeles Lakers organisation and fans.
“So many emotions — and that ovation at the start of the game, hard to focus,” Gasol said after the game.
“It took me a while to get settled into the game.”
The tribute video came first ahead of tip-off along with t-shirts for the fans in attendance with ‘Thanks Pau’ emblazoned on the front along with his achievements for the franchise on the back.
The Pau Gasol shirt that fans are getting tonight. pic.twitter.com/JyE24SvvZC
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 30, 2015
The Spaniard finished the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks but couldn’t prevent the Bulls from falling in double overtime.
However, he received another surprise to help with the disappointment of losing the game as former teammate Kobe Bryant visited him in the locker room.
“I really appreciated him coming. I didn’t expect it at all,” Gasol said. “It was an incredible gesture on his part to want to come and want to say hello. A great unexpected gift.”
Bryant underwent surgery on Wednesday on his right shoulder after suffering a torn rotator cuff, and Gasol revealed that he told him to go home and get some rest as they will undoubtedly keep in touch and continue to talk.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 30, 2015