Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. Ahead of the big event, one of Bryant’s greatest allies on the court, Pau Gasol, offered his thoughts on his former teammate.
In an interview with Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times, Gasol opened up about the two sides of Bryant that he got to see: the inspirational figure who touched the lives of fans around the globe and the unsentimental but caring friend who pushed him to do better.
“The way he impacted the world, I think beyond the world of sports … beyond basketball, how he touched so many people, inspired so many people … Kobe went beyond that and above that.
“He wasn’t much of a sentimental guy, he was like ‘snap out of it … let’s get to it, there’s no time to waste.’ He would try to, I guess, inspire you and encourage you when he needed you to be inspired and encouraged, but he would also try to intimidate you when he wanted to get the better of you.”
Gasol and Bryant were extremely close, particularly as their careers progressed, and the Spanish hoops legend has been staying in touch and taking care of Kobe's family.
When Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s 20th anniversary occurred a couple of months ago, Gasol made sure the date was recognized and sent a special gift. This past Halloween, Gasol went out of his way to make sure that Kobe’s kids had a proper celebration.
The bond Bryant and Gasol established as members of the Lakers was truly special to watch, and it’s incredible to see that even with Bryant gone Gasol is committed to making sure his memory stays alive forever.