‘Better Leader, Better Competitor’: Pau Gasol Gives Special Mention to Kobe Bryant in His Retirement Speech

Published 10/05/2021, 1:01 PM EDT
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)


After an iconic career, the legendary Pau Gasol has decided to call it a day. The Lakers star officially announced his retirement on Tuesday. After two decades in the NBA, Gasol has decided that it’s time for him to hang up his boots. In an interview post the sad announcement, the 41-year-old has paid a special tribute to former teammate Kobe Bryant.

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During his prime days, Pau Gasol was a gun center-forward in the league. The Spaniard featured with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 to 2014, where he enjoyed a great run. He averaged 17 points in his career. During his time with the franchise, Gasol enjoyed the company of some of the best players in the world, including ‘The Mamba’ Kobe Bryant. Kobe averaged 25 points when he was in the league, and sadly lost his life early in 2020. However, his everlasting memories will live on forever.

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Pau Gasol pays emotional tribute to Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant

During their 5-6 years together, Gasol and Kobe were a top-notch duo. They had a phenomenal connection on the court, and shared a bond that goes beyond just the numbers. After opting to retire, the FC Barcelona Basketball marquee signing thanked Kobe Bryant for his help through the years. It was an emotional message in remembrance of a man who will never be forgotten.

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“I want to make a special mention to Kobe Bryant,” said Gasol via EuroHoops. “I’d very much like him to be here but life is sometimes very unfair. He taught me how to be a better leader, better competitor, what it meant to be a winner.” It was yet another example of the Mamba mentality that Kobe infused into everyone around him.

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LOS ANGELES, CA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014 – Lakers guard Kobe Bryant listens as the National Anthem is sung by Jeffey Osborne at the season opener against the Rockets at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

On this day, we would like to congratulate Pau Gasol on an amazing career. Nobody will forget his invaluable offensive as well as defensive contributions for the Lakers. The Spanish sensation won back-to-back titles with Kobe, but learnt so much more about the game and about life. The duo are undoubtedly an inspiring one, and have changed the sport for the better!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

314 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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