As Pau Gasol shared his respect and admiration for Kobe Bryant during his own jersey retirement, Los Angeles Lakers fans at Crypto.com Arena couldn’t help but chant “Kobe.”
Gasol was emotional during his speech. He touched on his relationship with Bryant, sharing how the NBA legend elevated him and helped him become not only a better player but also a “better man overall.”
“I can’t go on without talking about the person and the face that I don’t see… I miss him so much, like many of us do… I wish he was here with Gigi. I love you brother,” Gasol said of Bryant.
In the middle of Pau Gasol’s speech about Kobe Bryant, fans in the stands started shouting “Kobe” to honor the fallen icon. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, was all smiles during the moment while team owner Jeanie Buss clapped his hands in rhythm with the cheers.
“I can’t go on without talking about the person and the face that I don’t see… I miss him so much, like many of us do… I wish he was here with Gigi. I love you brother.”
Pau Gasol honors brother Kobe Bryant in jersey retirement speech 💜💛pic.twitter.com/36sD99DbDa
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 8, 2023
Pau Gasol had been showering Kobe Bryant with love even before the occasion, and rightfully so. They are more than just teammates, with the two forming a bond off the court and really connecting with each other. Even their families are close, with Pau continuing to support Vanessa and her kids after Kobe passed away.
Making the event more emotional, however, is Bryant’s pre-recorded message for Gasol where the late Lakers star predicted that Pau’s jersey would be retired alongside his. In the said video, Kobe said: “I don’t win those championships without Pau. We know that, everybody knows that.”
What an incredible day for Pau and Kobe.