Wenyen Gabriel earns some ‘you are a dawg’ encouragement from LeBron James

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns tries to drive to the basket between Lakers forwards LeBron James, left, and Wenyen Gabriel, right, during the Lakers’ 123-111 win Friday night. (Abbie Parr / Associated Press)

LeBron James walked up to an exhausted Wenyen Gabriel as he exited the game with 7 minutes and 41 seconds left and tapped the Lakers backup center in the chest while offering instructions and some more encouragement.

Gabriel poured all he had into the the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at Target Center, playing his role at a high level in the fourth quarter and listening intently to every word James had to say.

Gabriel had completed his night with four points, two rebounds and some wisdom from James.

“Yeah, I was balling,” Gabriel said. “We were talking about a specific play. I kind of let KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) get off a three and he was letting me know that he doesn’t like contact and he was telling me that I’m a dawg and ‘you got to be physical and do those things and that’s why you’re out here on the floor.’

“And he was kind of encouraging me right there. He was also saying, ‘Good job. You are a dawg.’ He was kind of reinforcing and encouraging me to do what I do best.”

The hustle, grit and determination displayed by Gabriel in the fourth quarter was instrumental for the Lakers in a win that moved them into seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

At times it was his defense on Towns or center Rudy Gobert. Other times it was his effort on the backboards, including two offensive rebounds in the fourth.

Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel celebrates after scoring against the Clippers on Jan. 24. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

He even scored on a floater in the fourth to push the Lakers’ lead to 12 points.

“Wenyen gives us great energy and the best thing about Wenyen is he loves to be held accountable,” James said. “He doesn’t mind me going after him if he makes mistakes, or when he’s great, I always big him up. He’s been great for us all year and it was another moment tonight. He was just huge for us in the minutes that he had.”


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/wenyen-gabriel-earns-dawg-encouragement-113007153.html?src=rss

Author : LA Times

Publish date : 2023-04-01 11:30:07

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