Los Angeles Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol formed one of the most lethal one-two punches the league has ever witnessed. Gasol recently commented about his stint with the Lakers and how it was an honor to play with the legendary shooting guard.
Gasol and Bryant played together for seven seasons in purple and gold, winning two NBA championships in three NBA Finals appearances. The duo dominated matchups and had brilliant chemistry on the court which was later forged into an unbreakable bond off of it. Pau’s superior basketball IQ and Kobe’s unrelenting mindset helped the Lakers establish themselves as contenders for more than half a decade. Black Mamba played a key role in pushing Gasol to be the best version of himself, teaching him what it takes to win an NBA championship.
Pau Gasol recently sat down with Lakers Nation to promote his four-part docuseries called Pau Gasol: It’s About the Journey. The legendary forward commented about his stint with the Lakers and what it meant to him to be a part of such a historic franchise and the honor of sharing the court with Kobe Bryant. Here’s what he said:
“It provided just a completely different feel,” Gasol said. “Playing with Kobe [Bryant] was something very unique and something I will be forever grateful. And also the rest of the guys. Derek [Fisher], Lamar [Odom], Andrew [Bynum], Sasha [Vujacic], Jordan [Farmar], Luke [Walton]. All the guys that I played with in a Lakers uniform, we knew we were part of something special. We knew that being part of the Lakers franchise was an honor. Being part of the Lakers family was an honor. We had a sense of a higher responsibility beyond yourself as a player.”
The duo of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will go down in history as one of the best to ever grace the hardwood. Their unbreakable bond on the court will always be the ideal example of a brotherhood that is rare to come across.
How dominant were Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol during their stint together?
2007 was a year filled with drama for the Los Angeles Lakers as they were in a peculiar situation with the possibility of losing their franchise cornerstone Kobe Bryant. Kobe was reported to have put in a request to be traded after becoming frustrated with the franchise’s inability to create a championship team.
The Lakers and general manager pulled off a heist, trading for All-Star forward Pau Gasol. They sent the Memphis Grizzlies three picks, Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and Aaron McKie, along with draft rights to Marc Gasol. This satisfied Bryant and changed the franchise’s trajectory.
Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant went on to dominate the league for most of the decade. They led the Lakers to two titles and three NBA Finals appearances with the possibility of more, if not for unfortunate injuries to both stars. Bryant and Gasol got exactly what they needed from each other. Gasol learnt what it took mentally to win from Kobe while Kobe got a high IQ star forward who could help him compete for a title.
ALSO READArticle Continues below