Lamar Odom Calls Pau Gasol ‘Too Much’ for Dwight Howard While Praising Kobe Bryant Era Lakers: “Pau Is a Lot to Handle for a Lot of These Power Centers and Forwards”

Published 01/11/2022, 11:30 AM EST
Lakers Pau Gasol hugs Kobe Bryant late in the 4th quarter as Nuggets Carmelo Anthony looks on in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at the Staples Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Gone are the times when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers dominated the NBA. A key feature of LA’s setup from 2008 to 2014, Pau Gasol was instrumental in leading the men in purple and yellow towards back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. A powerhouse centre-forward, Gasol and Kobe became the best of buds. Regarding their iconic triumph in 2009, former Laker Lamar Odom once spoke about Pau’s effectiveness.

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The 2008-09 season was the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 60th outing in the NBA. They gathered 65 wins that year, which was an enormous tally. There are no second guesses as to who spearheaded the roster; Kobe Bryant was a force to be reckoned with, and won the 2009 NBA Finals MVP too. What made the victory even more special, was the fact that in the summit clash, Phil Jackson and co. overpowered the Orlando Magic in brutal fashion. And along with Kobe, Pau Gasol was a key figure.

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Former teammate of Kobe Bryant heaped praise on Lakers legend Pau Gasol

When the legendary Kobe Bryant passed away in early 2020, it was only natural that 41-year-old Pau Gasol was one of the most deeply affected, outside of Kobe’s family. This is because Pau was his extended family; they combined for tons of memories both on and off the court. It was a match made in heaven; Kobe the fire and Pau the ice. The duo replicated their immaculate ability in 2009, when they won the Lakers the coveted crown.

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In a highly anticipated final back then, LA took on an in-form Orlando Magic. According to former player Lamar Odom, Gasol was the defining factor in the tie. Being superior to his counterpart Dwight Howard, the former forward opened up about the match in Gasol’s documentary.

“It was, uh, finesse against brute strength. Pau is a lot to handle for a lot of these power centers and forwards. He’s too big for most power forwards and too quick for most centers. And he’s highly skilled. You know, that’s too much for Dwight Howard.”

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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)

The Kobe-Gasol era is still firmly etched in our minds and hearts. Was the late 2000s Lakers roster the greatest in NBA history? Where does Pau rank among the league’s best centre-forwards? Comment and voice your opinion.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

559 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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