Pau Gasol reflected on his friendship with Kobe Bryant during his Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony on Saturday night. In doing so, he recalled the late Lakers legend elevating his game like no one else he ever played alongside.
“That’s where I got to know the person who elevated my game like no other, who taught me what it took to win at the highest level, who showed me how hard you have to work and the mentality you needed to have in order to be the best, the commitment you had to make, what it meant and what it took to be a leader: Kobe,” Gasol said.
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From there, Gasol launched into the story of the night he was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Lakers. He continued: “I wouldn’t be here without you, brother. I wish more than anything that you and Gigi were here today with us. I miss you and love you.” Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was in attendance during the speech, as well as several other NBA legends. Check out Gasol’s full comments below.
Pau Gasol Reflects On Relationship With Kobe Bryant
The Grizzlies drafted Gasol with the 3rd overall pick back in 2001. After becoming an all-star with the organization, they shipped him to Los Angeles, to play alongside Bryant. Together they won two NBA championships. Later in his career, Gasol played with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. Gasol also took a moment to reflect on his final years with the Spurs during his Hall of Fame speech. “Pop, Becky, Tony, Manu, I mean one of the things that Pop told me in free agency … think about the guys you’re going to spend time with. … I loved the opportunity to play with you guys,” he said. “My wife and I will always cherish those three years in San Antonio.”