Pau Gasol has a hard time accepting the death of his dear friend and teammate Kobe Bryant. Today is the one-year anniversary of Kobe’s death. We witnessed a lot of tributes at media conferences. Current and former basketball players honored Kobe and his legacy. However, Gasol’s message brought tears to our eyes.
Gasol became a Laker in 2008. The Lakers made three NBA Finals appearances and won two titles.
The Spanish native took to Twitter to deliver his message and it was simple and sad. “I miss you, hermano,” Gasol wrote.
Gasol shared a photo of Kobe and Gianna on his shoulders. He also added two photos of himself and Kobe on the court. Gigi also lost her life in the same helicopter crash that took Kobe’s life in Jan. 26, 2020.
“Not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do,” Gasol added. “Your spirit, your drives, your ambition, your love … continues to shine in my life and in many others.”
During their time together, Kobe needled Gasol. In 2012, Kobe called out his Spanish teammate during a sloppy start. He said, “put your big-boy pants on. Just adjust. Just adjust. You can’t whine about it. You can’t complain about it.”
In 2013, Kobe was recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He called Lakers trainer Gary Vitti at halftime and asked to speak to his dear teammate. He really wanted Gasol to play more aggressively.
Last year, Gasol said that after the 2008 Olympics, he arrived back at training camp to find Kobe’s gold medal in his locker.
Gasol knew that Kobe was hard on him just because he wanted to push him. This made their relationship even stronger.
Pau Gasol honors Kobe Bryant
In September, Gasol got a daughter and named her Elisabet Gianna. Yes, he added Gigi’s name to the name they had already picked for the girl. Gasol knew that his daughter would have this name.
Here’s what Gasol wrote on Tuesday:
“Not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do. Your spirit, your drives, your ambition, your love … continues to shine in my life and in many others. Photos, videos, very special moments keep being shared by countless people that have admired you and loved you in their own way, reminding me how incredibly lucky I have been to share some of those moments with you.
“I hope you and Gigi are smiling down seeing how strong, sweet and amazing your girls are … they are growing so fast brother.
“I wish you could’ve met our little Elisabet Gianna. We will make sure she knows where her middle name comes from … how extraordinary, loving and inspiring her cousin Gig and her uncle Kobe were.
“Today, we honor and celebrate both of you, you have left us with so much… but even if it isn’t how we would like things to be, you are, and always will be, in our hearts.”