‘Yes, He Did’: Pau Gasol Responds to Jeanie Buss Revealing an Intriguing Incident Between Him and Kobe Bryant

Published 04/24/2021, 10:49 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scores 24 points during the Lakers’ 112-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in their season opener Wednesday night at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Lakers open their 2015-16 season against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. 10/28/15 (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)


The ripple effect of Kobe Bryant passing away was a big one. Friends, family, fans, and teammates all grieved in their own way and some still are. However, there is one person who was especially close to Kobe.

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Pau Gasol and Kobe go way back. They played with each other from 2008 to 2014 and even when Gasol left the Los Angeles Lakers, their bond remained intact. In fact, Jeanie Buss had a very interesting story about Kobe and Pau.

Was Kobe Bryant trying to mock Pau Gasol?

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Who doesn’t want to win at the Olympics? Legendary players and Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were no different. Although brothers on and off the court, they were up against each other in the 2008 Olympics.

While the Spanish squad was filled with talent to the brim, they were nowhere near the USA team popularly known as the Redeem Team.

The Redeem Team consisted of legends: Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and, of course, Bryant. When these two locked horns in a championship game at the Beijing Olympics, team USA eventually ended with the gold medal.

Although Kobe and Gasol were supposed to play together in the Lakers, Bryant did not let Gasol forget that loss even then. Jeanie Buss revealed, “When we were getting ready for the next season, Kobe hung his gold medal in Pau’s locker.”

Gasol even confirmed the story by posting on Twitter.

The Lakers won a championship afterward

Why Kobe did that is a mystery, but it surely worked as motivation for Gasol. Just two months before meeting each other at the Olympics, the Lakers had lost to their rivals, the Boston Celtics, in the NBA Finals.

However, the season after this incident, the Lakers ended up winning two straight NBA titles – one against the Orlando Magic and the other against the mighty Celtics.

(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)

Gasol and Kobe’s friendship ran deeper than that. Pau was a pillar of support for Vanessa and the family during their loss.

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He even honored the memory of Kobe’s daughter, who died in the plane crash with him, by naming his first-born daughter after Gianna. Although gone, Pau is making sure he is not forgotten.

Read also- “We Did That Perfectly”: Los Angeles Lakers Remember the Deadly Chemistry Between Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol

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Yashima Bhatia

1474 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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