Ever since the NBA lost its star Kobe Bryant, everyone who knew him has been in mourning. This includes his colleagues, fans, and most importantly, his family. However, through all of this, Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, remains strong, as she maintains good relations with all of her late husband’s friends and acquaintances. Recently, she displayed the same once again, as she wished her husband’s close friend Pau Gasol on his birthday.
Late NBA legend Kobe Bryant and former Laker Pau Gasol shared a deep bond of friendship. It was not just professional or just for the cameras. Their friendship was deep-rooted into the Bryant family as well. Kobe and his daughter Gianna’s death in a tragic helicopter accident devastated both the Gasol and the Bryant family. However, they seemed to have pulled through the worst of the worst and are now moving towards healing.
Recently, Gasol celebrated his 40th birthday. And what made it a little more special are some pictures Vanessa posted on her private Instagram account of Pau enjoying with her daughters. She addressed the caption to “Uncle Pau”.
“Happy 40th birthday uncle Pau! We ❤️you. Love, The Bryant Girls. I know Kobe would say,’Happy 40th birthday Pablo! Love you, Hermano’. ❤️ @paugasol (thx for Natalia’s #boomboompau sweatshirt auntie @catmcdonnell7 ☺️).”
Pau Gasol seems determined to be there for his good friend’s family during these tough times.
Pau Gasol, who last played in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks before going to play for Spain, shared a meaningful friendship with the league’s Black Mamba. Kobe, who was known to have such social endeavors with very few people, clearly adored Gasol by heart, as many interviews suggest.
Their friendship began in 2008, when Pau came to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Memphis Grizzlies. Since then, the duo won two NBA championship titles together. They had great chemistry and an amazing partnership. Kobe also helped Gasol improve his game drastically.
When he received news that Kobe was retiring, the 2002 ROTY awardee said,
“We had some incredible times together..We have an incredible relationship, friendship. I hope it lasts over our lifetime.
“But Father Time, as we all know, is undefeated and we all have our time. I’m so proud of him for all the things he accomplished. I hope he enjoys the rest of the road.”
When news of Kobe’s death came, Gasol was very obviously shocked. He may or may not have recovered from his huge loss, but he seems determined to not show it. Once he was comfortable talking about it, Pau tweeted a picture with the words : “You’ll always be in my heart”. Gasol called Kobe his “big brother.”
This wasn’t a one sided friendship either. Pau and Kobe shared many humorous moments on and off the court. Pau’s wife also remains great friends with Vanessa and the Bryant daughters. Gasol and his wife sent over a cake on what would have been Gianna’s 14th birthday over to the Bryant household. Moreover, Gasol tweeted pictures of Gianna’s ‘Mambacita 5106’ bands on her birthday too.
Gasol continues to show his support for the family and to keep Kobe’s and his daughter Gianna’s memory alive.