Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant held a friendship that went far beyond the basketball court. They went to battle together, they won 2 NBA Championships together, and they made each other better on and off the hardwood.
Pau was clearly deeply affected by the tragic loss of Kobe and Gianna's death earlier in the year. He was (and is) pretty close to the Bryant family, up to the point where Kobe's daughters even see him as an uncle. That hasn't changed the slightest despite his physical disappearance.
Vanessa Bryant recently shared an adorable pic of uncle Pau holding baby Bianka in his arms while the Bryant family enjoyed a much-needed getaway. After everything they've been through lately, it's only normal to want some time away from everything.
Pau joined the Lakers in the 2007-08 season and gave the team the second star they were craving since Shaquille O'Neal's departure. Kobe molded Pau and turned him into a reckless competitor. He toughened him up for the playoffs and they became one of the most entertaining duos in modern history.
Gasol has been out of the league for quite some time now while he's nursing an injury but he's openly admitted his desire to play in the NBA again, even going as far as to claim that he'd love to wear the purple-and-gold one more time.
Kobe's impact on and off the court goes beyond measure. He dared us and encouraged us to be the best version of ourselves every single day. He taught us to fight with bones and nails for what we want and to always strive for greatness. It's nice to know that his family is well taken care of with friends like Pau.