Skip to main content

Kobe Bryant's Old Comment On Pau Gasol Is Heartbreaking

Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant shake hands before the All-Star Game.

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Pau Gasol #16 of the Chicago Bulls and the Eastern Conference and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference react after the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"A champion, legend, and forever a part of the Lakers family," Pau Gasol is set to have his No. 16 jersey retired next March, the team announced Wednesday.

Gasol becomes just the 11th number to be put in the Crypto.com rafters, joining legends such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and late teammate and friend Kobe Bryant.

Back in 2018, Kobe predicted that his brother would one day receive the honor. Saying at the 90th Oscars:

When Pau retires, he will have his number in the rafters next to mine… I don’t win those championships without Pau… I really look forward to the day when he’s giving his speech at center court… It’s going to be an awesome night.

Kobe and Pau forged an inseparable bond over his six and a half seasons with the Lakers, helping LA capture back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

Gasol was a three-time All-Star as a member of the Lake Show, averaging 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks in purple and gold.

Something tells me somewhere out there, Mamba will be watching.