NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein: Kobe Bryant told Pau Gasol not to talk to me

Jimmy Goldstein says Kobe Bryant got in the way of his friendship with Pau Gasol. 
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NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein says Kobe Bryant broke up his friendship with Pau Gasol after Gasol joined the Lakers, Goldstein told SI's Lee Jenkins on the Open Floor Podcast.

Goldstein, who has been a fixture at Lakers and Clippers games for decades, said he and Gasol were very good friends when the Spanish forward played in Memphis. Gasol was traded to the Lakers during the 2007-08 season, and he says their friendship ended.

"After he joined the Lakers he suddenly stopped talking to me," Goldstein said, "and I didn't understand it until he came up to me during the All-Star game, gave me a big hug and apologized because he said Kobe didn't want him to talk to me."

Goldstein told a similar story to GQ in 2012. Although Goldstein has owned Lakers season tickets since 1962, he grew up in Milwaukee and has described himself as an "anti-Lakers fan."

Goldstein said he and Bryant have been on better terms during the last few weeks following a courtside interaction, when Goldstein mentioned ESPN wanted to interview him about Bryant.

"Now we have suddenly a friendship," Goldstein told SI. "So I can see that his retirement has changed everything."

Bryant will play the final game of his 20-year NBA career on Wednesday when the Lakers host the Jazz.