Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant were one of the greatest duos in NBA history.
Not only did the pair bring two consecutive championships to the Los Angeles Lakers, but they also made three NBA Finals appearances and restored some semblance of respectability to the franchise post-Shaquille O’Neal.
Given how tumultuous Bryant’s relationship with O’Neal had been, many were shocked at how well he worked with Gasol.
What ended up being different that time around?
In a conversation with NBA insider Mark Medina, Gasol broke down why he and Bryant had so much chemistry and ended up working so well together.
“It was timing in our careers,” Gasol said.
“He understood to be considered one of the best of all time that he needed more championships. He wanted more championships. Michael [Jordan] was his idol and role model. He wanted to get the fourth and fifth to tie Magic and go past Shaq and six to tie Michael. That was his goal.
“You need to have those types of goals and motivations to actually get them. I came from Memphis and a situation where I had never had the opportunity to win a title. I was hungry as well.”
It’s a special bond.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/HNMYwXU2KB
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 13, 2023
One that was fostered during their time making NBA history with the Lakers.
Last week, L.A. honored Gasol by retiring his number in the bleachers. It was a beautiful ceremony.
Hopefully as time goes on Gasol and Bryant continue to get the credit they deserve for being one of the best and most likable duos in modern league history.