Weather Alert

How Pau Gasol Became “Uncle Pau” To Kobe’s Family

Did you know Kobe Bryant trademarked the slogan, “Friends hang sometimes, banners hang forever.” Pau Gasol heard him say that all the time.

Underneath all that tough talk; Gasol knew the truth, he was a sensitive father to four daughters who would always be there when Gasol called.

Gasol has said that “He’s the closest thing to a big brother that I’ve had in my life.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pau (@paugasol)

It is still hard for Gasol to talk about Bryant’s death… mention January 26th and Gasol’s mind races back to the moment he first heard about the helicopter crash.

But lets rewind for a second… A chance encounter changed the course of both of their lives. In the summer of 2007, the Bryants bumped into Gasol while vacationing in his native Barcelona, as he was working out in their hotel gym. A few months later, it happened, Gasol got traded from Memphis to L.A. where things just clicked and resulted in three straight NBA Finals appearances and two titles for the Lakers.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pau (@paugasol)

“He could be hard. There’s no question about it,” Gasol said. [Matt] Barnes elaborated “There would be times where I’d have to, like, go put my arm around Pau and tell him it’s going to be all right, Because [Bryant] would cuss that motherf—er out in any language you can imagine.”

He was in Spain at the time, with his wife, Cat, driving home when her phone started getting news alerts and text messages. Gasol said he cried for days, numb and heartbroken and shocked all at once. But very quickly he knew what he needed to do.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

After the incident, The Gasols stayed near the Bryants’ home for several months, checking in on the family often and trying to support them through the unthinkable tragedy.

Pau sent flowers to Vanessa on what would’ve been the couple’s 19th wedding anniversary in April and a birthday cake on what would’ve been Gianna’s 14th birthday in May.

The Gasols and Bryants also ended up going on a boat trip in San Francisco in August and got dressed up as Star Wars characters for Halloween. And when the Gasols’ first child was born in September, they named her after Gianna… Elisabet Gianna Gasol!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

“Our relationship seemed to be meant to come together for some reason,” Gasol said. “And now after his loss and Gigi’s, it just brought us that much closer to what he meant to me, who he was, what he provided to my life and obviously his family and now my family, as I consider them. He was someone that I’ll miss for the rest of my life, but I’ll have him present in everything that I do.”

Connect With Us Listen To Us On