Gasol has remained an uncle figure to Kobe’s family throughout the last year and a half and has become one of the most vocal champions of his former teammate’s legacy. His latest touching tribute to the Black Mamba came in a unique way after the conclusion of the 2021 NBA Finals.
After Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks closed out a championship in front of a home crowd on Tuesday, an old tweet of Bryant’s resurfaced. The former Lakers star congratulated Antetokounmpo on winning his first MVP award before tasking him with going out and winning a title.
“My man….MVP. Greatness. Next up: Championship #MambaMentality,” Bryant tweeted on June 24, 2019.
Gasol saw that the tweet had come back into the public eye and decided to use his platform to elevate the words of his former teammate. Take a look:
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 21, 2021
Antetokounmpo won the Finals MVP unanimously after a 50-point performance in Game 6. Following the win, he spoke about what Kobe’s words meant to him all those years ago.
“Kobe Bryant thinks I can do this, I can play at a higher level and lead my team and win MVP. I had to do it,” Antetokounmpo said in his postgame media session.
Giannis’s comments and Gasol’s tweet both are touching tributes to Bryant. The Black Mamba has left his mark on the game in more ways than one and that’s always apparent during the NBA’s biggest moments.
There’s no doubt that Antetokounmpo made Bryant proud with his performance on Tuesday night. The Bucks star will now get to take some well-deserved time off and celebrate his team’s major victory.
But if Antetokounmpo really wants to honor Bryant’s legacy, he’ll surely get back to work soon.