Vanessa Bryant was on hand Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers honored Pau Gasol by retiring his team jersey.
Gasol, of course, famously won two NBA championships and made it to three Finals alongside Kobe Bryant in the early 2010s.
Along the way he and Kobe formed a tight friendship that carried over into their post-playing days. Following the latter’s untimely passing, Gasol remained incredibly close with Vanessa.
Because of that, she ended up playing a prominent role in Tuesday night’s ceremony.
Not only was Vanessa by Gasol’s side as his jersey was raised, but she also created a memorable video message for him.
Together in the rafters 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/24JHyDeBeD
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2023
Vanessa Bryant, and daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri arrive to say hello to Pau Gasol. #Lakers #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/WV3mDCc78N
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) March 8, 2023
“Não posso continuar sem falar da pessoa [Kobe] e do rosto que não vejo. Sinto muita falta dele, como muitos de nós. Queria que ele estivesse aqui com a Gigi. Te amo irmão.”
– Pau Gasol, aos gritos de “Kobe, Kobe” e com Vanessa Bryant aplaudindopic.twitter.com/LNcAr6F4tX
— Kobe Brasil (@BrasilKobe) March 8, 2023
When the world lost Kobe, many of his friends attempted to step up and support his family – but nobody did like Gasol.
Gasol spends birthdays with Kobe’s children, takes vacations with the family and sends Vanessa special gifts regularly.
There is no way the Lakers were going to honor Gasol the way they did this week and Vanessa wasn’t going to be there.
Rough night for Knicks fans. https://t.co/1zikydChEp
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 8, 2023
Gasol is one of the greatest players in Lakers history and was acknowledged as such this week.
But as special of a talent as he was, he has been an even better person and friend.
Gasol will forever be tied to the Bryant family, and his continued friendship with Vanessa is definitely a wonderful thing for Lakers fans to see.
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