‘Obsessiveness To Be The Best’: Lakers Legend Pau Gasol on How Kobe Bryant Inspired Him

Published 10/09/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant celebrates with Pau Gasol during the Lakers 89-67 victory over the Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday in Los Angeles. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: lakers.0616.kjs — Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER — 6/15/10 — The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center. 6/15/10


NBA Legend Pau Gasol recently announced his retirement from professional basketball. His partnership with Kobe Bryant was key for the Los Angeles Lakers winning two NBA championships. Playing with Bryant, Pau Gasol admits he learned a lot from him. Gasol recently explained how during his time at the Lakers, he realized Kobe was a “one of a kind” individual.

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Gasol appeared for an online interview with NBA’s Europe division. He was reflecting upon his stellar career in the NBA when he talked about his time with Kobe Bryant. This is what he said about Kobe Bryant.

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Pau Gasol reflects on his experience with Kobe Bryant

While reminiscing about his successful NBA career, Gasol spoke about Kobe Bryant. He said, “There’s not many other individuals that were more determined than Kobe was. His obsessiveness to be the best, his work ethic to be the best. He was determined more than anyone to really maximize his journey. And he showed that as a basketball player. He showed that after hanging it up, he saw no limits to his potential was kind of unparalleled.”

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Further, he added, “He was just a great example, so much knowledge, so much inspiration. But he left us this great legacy, just a one-of-a-kind individual.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA APRIL 28, 2013-Lakers Kobe Bryant consoles Pau Gasol late in the 4th quarter against the Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center Sunday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gasol shared a close relationship with Kobe and does so even now with the Bryant family. After Kobe’s unfortunate death, Pau, along with his family, booked a flight to California to be with Kobe’s family.

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How did Gasol and Kobe end up together at Lakers?

Since 2004, the Lakers had been searching for someone to fill the hole that Shaquille O’Neal left. For a while, they went with Kwame Brown, which wasn’t particularly popular with experts and fans. After a disappointing few seasons with that choice, the Lakers decided to move on from Kwame.

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DALLAS, TX – MARCH 12: Kobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers react after a 96-91 win against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 12, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Subsequently, the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies on February 1, 2008. In exchange, they gave Kwame Brown, Javar Crittenton, Marc Gasol, Aaron McKie, a 2008 first-round pick, and a 2010 first-round pick. The blockbuster acquisition gave Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers the second star he needed to compete for a ring.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

232 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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