Former NBA star Pau Gasol says Kobe Bryant made him a better player!
In 2009 and 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers secured back-to-back championships with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on the front line leading the troops.
During their time together on the Lakers, Gasol and Bryant had a very robust bond that endured until the day No. 8 and his daughter, Gigi Bryant, perished in a helicopter crash back in early 2020.
Following news of the helicopter crash, the world was distraught and millions of people expressed their sorrow via social media. Gasol was no exception to this rule, for he was crushed after catching wind Bryant and his daughter were killed.
This past weekend was an extraordinary one for the two-time LA Laker champion center as he was in Utah partaking in the NBA All-Star Weekend. On Friday (Feb. 17), Gasol was declared a ‘2023 Hall of Fame’ finalist, and hours later… the Rising Stars team coach led his squad to a stellar victory as well.
In addition, on Mar. 7, Gasol’s No. 16 Lakers jersey will be retired and will sit up in the rafters next to the late Bryant’s retired numbers (24 and 8).
Pau Gasol & Kobe Bryant Were ‘Thick As Thieves’
With so many good things occurring at the same time, Gasol took time to share his fond feelings about Bryant, his baby girl, and the incessant effect they will forever have on him.
— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) February 17, 2023
“Every step of the way, [Bryant is] on my mind, in my heart… along with Gigi. And he’s going to be there forever. I grew as a player, I played at a high-level thanks to him, in great part. Obviously Phil [Jackson] and the rest of the teammates, the rest of the staff, I had to put something for my part, but his leadership, his example, [and] his approach really elevated my game and made me a better player. We don’t get those championships, my name and my number don’t go in the rafters, [and] we don’t win those championships without Kobe Bryant being one of the best players on the floor, in history. So again, he will always be with me, in every moment, not just basketball recognitions, but personally too. His family is my family. We will continue to go forward thinking that he is watching. He’s definitely part of those moments,” said Gasol via Eurohoops TV.
What’s your most memorable moment of Kobe Bryant’s sports career? Let us know in the comments below!
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