THROWBACK: Some Of The Best Moments Between Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol In Their Time With The Lakers

Published 10/05/2021, 6:00 PM EDT


Pau Gasol has confirmed his retirement from all forms of basketball. Gasol was an incredible player and won two NBA championships with Los Angeles Lakers. His role in both the championship wins was extremely crucial. Before 2008, Kobe Bryant was struggling to find a reliable center since Shaquille O’Neal left in 2004.

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They signed Gasol in 2008 and that led to the beginning of a family-like bond between Gasol and Bryant.

After a stellar career in which he won a world cup (2006), two NBA rings (2009, 2010), three Eurobasket (2009, 2011,2015), three ACB leagues (1999,2001, 2021), and a Copa Del Rey (2001), he has finally knocked off his basketball shoes.

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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. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Upon hearing the news of Kobe’s death, Gasol and his family had an instant reaction to book a one-way flight to California. It was more important to them than anything to be with Kobe’s grieving family. That just showed how close both the players were.

Here is a list of some of the best moments shared between Kobe and Gasol

  • 2010 NBA Finals: Against a dominant Celtics team, Gasol and Bryant triumphed to a victory after exceptional performances from both these players. Gasol dropped 19 points and had 18 rebounds. Kobe Bryant dropped 23 points and had 15 rebounds.
  • Moreover, Metta Sandiford Artest also aided them in this game who dropped 20 points. Some fans commonly regard this as the game where Gasol saved Kobe’s legacy. Gasol’s crucial rebounds and close-to-the-rim finishes in the clutch helped Kobe lift his fifth championship.
  • 2009 NBA Finals (Game 5): The Los Angeles Lakers faced Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA finals. This performance was a tough response to arguably one of the best defensive players of all time, Dwight Howard.
  • Gasol still managed 5 more rebounds and 4 more points than Howard. Consequently, this 15 rebound and 14 point performance by Gasol combined with Kobe’s 30 points helped the Lakers end their 6-year championship drought.
  • 2009 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semi-Finals (Game 7): The Lakers faced Houston Rockets. This was a make-it-or-break-it game for Gasol’s first NBA championship.
  • He took over on the offensive end of the floor while Bryant focused on the playmaking. Gasol dropped 21 points and had 18 rebounds. While Kobe Bryant had an all-around impact on the game with 14 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s Statistics.

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Lakers from left Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol huddle as they trail the Mavericks at the Staples Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant averaged 26.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 357 games with Pau Gasol in his career. Simultaneously, Pau Gasol averaged 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in the same time.

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Seeing the record of these two exceptional players, it is safe to say these legends enjoyed playing with each other. What is your favorite memory of Gasol and Bryant? Let us know.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

249 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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