Pau Gasol admits it was ‘not easy’ to form a close relationship with Kobe Bryant

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Pau Gasol revealed that it was “not easy” to form a close relationship with his former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident in January of last year, won two NBA titles with Gasol during their time together on the Lakers.

Gasol gave some details into his relationship with Bryant in an interview with FOX Sports while promoting his new docuseries “Pau Gasol: It’s About The Journey.”

“A moment that shifted my career was the trade to the Lakers because that opened up a whole different dimension,” Gasol said.

Gasol was traded to the Lakers during the 2007-08 season. He would become an integral part of the team, making the All-Star team in the following three seasons.

“That trade paired Gasol with Kobe Bryant in 2008, two teammates who would win championships together in 2009 and 2010 and forge a deep friendship, something Gasol acknowledged was ‘not easy to do’ with Bryant,” FOX Sports’ Melissa Rohlin wrote.

Despite things not being easy, Gasol and Bryant became extremely close on their journey to two NBA championships.

“I learned first-hand what it meant to be the best,” Gasol said of playing with Bryant, a five-time champion in his 20-season career. “The effort, the commitment [and] the work ethic he had was unparalleled. It inspired so many players, not just on his team but beyond his team. It inspired a generation, probably multiple generations of players that we see today.”

Over his illustrious career, Gasol averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

He allowed the Lakers and Bryant to unlock a new dimension and continue the tradition of winning that has become synonymous with the franchise.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.