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Kobe Bryant imagines ideal brother, and it’s Pau Gasol

Nov 22, 2013, 5:31 PM EDT

2013 Global Games - Shanghai

When the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant told the Associated Press, “It’s a matter of us just gelling now and putting it together.”

Since, Kobe and Gasol have spent six seasons together with the Lakers. They’ve won two championships together. They endured last season’s disappointment together.

They have definitely jelled.

Kobe wrote a forward for Pau Gasol’s book, and it’s a little moving. Ramona Shelburne

Bryant writes that “If I could choose my brother,” it would be Gasol. That “he would have the highest basketball IQ in the league” and “you’d have to search and search and you still would not find another player in the history of the game with his skill set.” That “if his organization ever let him down, he would hold his head up high” and “would not lash out or let himself become entangled in the drama.” That “we would both face adversity in our professions, so we would talk about our lives and our careers and the pressures of our celebrity” and that “our bond would be fortified by a trust only brothers share.”

It is hard to imagine higher praise from Kobe. And his sentiments are echoed by the foreword written by former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who said of Gasol, “he’s a son whom I could adopt very easily and embrace.”

It’s great that Kobe feels so close with Gasol, but I can’t help but wonder what Gasol thinks of Kobe.

I’m sure Gasol likes Kobe. That’s not in dispute. My question is about degree.

Kobe is notoriously reserved from his teammates. Though Kobe called Derek Fisher his all-time favorite teammate, Fisher once said he’d never even been to Kobe’s house.

Though Kobe might be especially close with Gasol relative to other teammates he’s had, I wonder how Gasol would compare the closeness he feels with Kobe to the other relationships in his life. Generally, Kobe’s comments would indicate a relationship Gasol also finds extremely close, but with Kobe’s reputation, that’s not necessarily the case.

To be clear, I’m not denigrating Kobe. I respect his desire to keep his privacy, and he and Gasol can define their relationship on their own terms. I’m just curious. That’s all.

  1. parasolmonster - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    This certainly shakes the Top 5 up, then.

    Basketball Friendship Power Rankings

    1. Kobe & Pau
    2. Kevin & Paul
    3. Tony & Tim
    4. Rajon & Himself
    5. Chris & Blake

    • legend30 - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      LeBron and Wade?

      • daddyghi - Nov 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        they’re engaged and about to get married.. >.<

        and i'm seeing a lot of thumbs down from LBJ fans club..

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

        LBJ and Wade GOT to be in that silly top 5, if not even the #1 spot. Bump out Chris and Blake. #4 was classic though!

    • daddyghi - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      4. Rajon & Himself >.<


    • legend30 - Nov 22, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      So you’re saying Blake and Chris have a stronger friendship than Wade and LeBron? I hope you realize that Wade, LeBron and C. Paul are basically brothers. Chris Paul wouldn’t even re-sign with Clippers, if it wasn’t for Doc Rivers. Yeah, he really wants to play with Blake…..

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 23, 2013 at 2:29 AM

      Chris and Blake? Blake and Jordan maybe. I think if the right trade proposal for Blake came along, CP3 would be the 1st to sign off on it.

  2. moseskkim - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    come to think of it.. gasol really does seem to be a good guy and does have a crazy skillset. i think the sad part of it is he is considered the goat when they lose and is constantly in trade rumors. one good thing about trade rumors is at least a lot of teams want you.

  3. antistratfordian - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    You can’t say that, Kobe! Your fans want Gasol to suck so you get more credit.

    They don’t want to hear that the Lakers only started winning championships again because of the addition of a guy with “the highest basketball IQ in the league” where you “would not find another player in the history of the game with his skill set”…

    I’ve heard Lakers fans (Kobe fans, actually) laugh at the idea of Pau Gasol being a hall of famer – they care little that hall of fame coaches like Phil Jackson or Jim Boeheim say that he is – they just want to be able to make the argument that Kobe won two rings without hall of fame help.

    • scottheis82 - Nov 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      Hey anti,
      I bet you think all African Americans are criminals and all Hispanics are illegal. The way you irrationally group Kobe/LAKER fans together just proves how ignorant you truly are.
      I and many other Kobe fans recognize and appreciate what Pau brought to the table when he became a LAKER. Just like I recognize and understand that your boyfriend Lebron would not have won a single title without D Wade and Chris Bosh.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:32 AM

        I didn’t group anyone together. I didn’t say “all” Lakers fans – I said “I’ve heard Lakers fans (Kobe fans, actually)” which is entirely accurate. So deal with it.

        And why would I think all African-Americans are criminals? I don’t get that. But we see where your mind is.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 23, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      For someone who spends so much time talking about the Lakers and Lakers fans, you don’t know very much about them, do you?

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        I know more about the Lakers than they do. I’ve been observing them long before many of them were born.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:36 AM

        “I know more about the Lakers than they do”

        lol. ok.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:11 AM

        Deal with it.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:05 AM


      You couldn’t be more wrong dude.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:09 AM

        It is impossible for me to be wrong in this case – I’m relaying experiences with Lakers fans that have actually happened (and continue to happen). Yes, some of your brethren do think this way.

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:13 AM

        Not to be disrespectful but, what, you’re 2 or 3 moronic Laker fan friends? The lonely guy at the sports bar? Less then a handful of people don’t count when making such a grandiose claim brohamski.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:25 AM

        No, over the years it’s been more like 20. And they’re not friends. But they all count. Your opinion is no more valid than theirs. But an issue for your fan base then is that these gentlemen are often the most vocal.

        And I didn’t make any “grandiose claim.”

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        Close to 20!! Yeah that’s more then a handful. Where’d you find these numbskulls?!

        I’ve never heard any Lakers/Kobe fans talk/think like that. Yeah, Pau has frustrated us at times, but nothing that stupid has been said that I’ve heard of. I find that very hard to believe.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:42 AM

        You’ve never heard it because you’re a Lakers fan. That’s like a white person saying, “Why do people say America is still racist? I’ve never experienced that.”

        You’re probably not going to see too much of it. Me? I’m a magnet for Lakers extremists and Kobe zealots. I’ve heard it all. Some days that sort of nonsense is all I hear.

      • spthegr8 - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        Don’t Feed the “Troll” Homie. If we all Ignore him, maybe he will find another bridge to hide under. Just read some of his comment’s. They make ABSOLUTELY NO sense!! If ALL you have to do on a Friday night is “Troll”, you need too take a LOOOOONG look in the mirror but, that is probably while you have nothing to do on a Friday night because of what you see when you look in the mirror.!! Just Saying”!!!!

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        I have a hard time believing you know any real Lakers fans based on your statements. You probably know a couple of people who have never even been to Los Angeles and claim the Lakers.

  4. azarkhan - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Kobe spent 7 formative years in Italy as a kid and learned to speak Italian and Spanish. He “gets” the Europeans. I’ve always thought that if anybody could relate to Pau, it would be Kobe.

  5. gameisours - Nov 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    I would put easily Tony and Tim in the first place. And for the Paul and Kevin… I think the moment they switch their club, they wont hear from each other any more.

  6. tigers182 - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    “Weird and creepy statements for $200 Alex”.

  7. socalgal64 - Nov 23, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Jesus, all you have to do is pay attention or do a little research. It’s not that hard.

    “I know he may not need many things, but if he needs a true friend who is going to support him, he can definitely count on me,” Gasol writes about Bryant. “We have a great friendship that I hope will last our entire lives.”

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