Despite not joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA restart in Orlando, Avery Bradley will still get his championship ring.
As Bradley celebrated the Lakers’ championship from home, he got a FaceTime call.
It was from Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, who let Bradley know that this was his ring too.
“Everyone was going crazy. Everyone was excited. My wife was excited,” Bradley told ESPN. “I think it is something that is hard, obviously, not being there. But I think from the beginning I’ve been able to be at peace. … I watched every single game. I am still a Laker.”
Bradley, who opted out of going to Orlando because his 7-year-old son Liam has a history of respiratory complications, stayed in touch with the team throughout the playoffs.
The 29-year-old would text encouraging messages to his teammates after big games and spoke to Pelinka before the first game of every playoff series.
Pelinka, Quinn Cook and assistant coach Phil Handy each spoke to Bradley on FaceTime from the locker room while celebrating their championship.
Bradley played 49 games (44 starts) for the Lakers in the regular season and was a key contributor in helping them earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
“You play your whole career working for a championship,” Bradley said, “and knowing that I was this close and a part of something, even though I wasn’t there, is still an amazing feeling.”