Former Lakers Teammate Pau Gasol Says He Hopes Kobe Bryant Will ‘Be Watching’ As He Continues Career Resurgence

Published 05/30/2021, 5:40 AM EDT
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)


Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will go down as one of the best duos in NBA history. In 2007, the Lakers traded players and draft picks (including the rights for current Laker and Pau’s brother Marc Gasol) to Memphis to secure Gasol. Gasol was the star that would help Kobe Bryant bring more championships to the Lakers. Bryant had another major star as a teammate since Shaquille O’Neal. And as Gasol makes his comeback in basketball, he hopes Kobe is keeping an eye on him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Pau Gasol on Kobe Bryant

Former Los Angeles Lakers star and current Barcelona player Pau Gasol spoke about his experience with Kobe Bryant. He noted that Bryant helped him become a winner with his leadership. The trio played in three consecutive NBA Finals but never had a very verbal relationship. Pau praised Kobe’s dedication to the game, and how he would constantly till the final buzzer. Bryant was one of the most determined players in NBA history, never giving up on his team.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) speaks across the court with teammate Pau Gasol (16) during the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, January 1, 2012. Aaron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Watch this storyKobe Bryant Stats: Top-Scoring Games of Lakers Legend

“We played three Finals together but Kobe really didn’t say a whole lot. He just brought the mindset and the aggressiveness and the leadership on the court. I’m just trying to enjoy this and do my best. Kobe played as hard as he could. He was always himself until the very last game, as we all saw.”

Gasol making a comeback

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Gasol added that as he makes his comeback with his home club Barcelona, he is doing his best to stay ready. Pau, now in his 40s, is trying to ensure that he contributes well to the team and serves his teammates and his coaches in order to get the win. He added that Bryant was one of the best players in the history of basketball and that his friend would continue to watch him as he makes his return to the game.

(Orlando, Florida – Sunday, June 14, 2009) Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant share a warm embrace at center court as they realize victory is certain over the Magic in game five of the NBA Finals at Amway Arena. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“I’m just going to try to be me and try to complement what my coach and teammates need. That’s all I’m trying to do here. This is a special opportunity. He was one of the greatest players ever. Hopefully, he’ll be watching.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Isaiah Thomas Explains How Kobe Bryant Gave Him His ‘Welcome to the NBA’ Moment

4 months ago

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol went to three NBA Finals together and won two consecutive NBA Finals in 2009 and 2010. They are one of the best duos in Lakers’ and NBA history.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT