Pau Gasol Reacts To Kobe Bryant's HOF Election, Says We Can Learn From His Mentality

Melissa Rohlin

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol deeply respected one another when they played together on the Lakers from 2008 through 2014, winning two championships in 2009 and 2010. 

Gasol was devastated after Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people. He couldn't speak to anyone for days after the accident, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

On Saturday, Gasol tweeted out a congratulatory message for Bryant after he was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 on Saturday. 

"Extremely proud of this great accomplishment," Gasol wrote. "We all wish he was here to enjoy it and celebrate it with his family and everyone that loved him."

Gasol also tweeted a video of him reciting one of his favorite proverbs from Kobe Bryant's most recent book "The Wizenard Series: Season One," which was released Tuesday and already is No. 1 on Amazon's best seller list for children's books.

"The deeper the hold, the longer the climb, and the stronger you arrive," Gasol said, while holding the book. 

Gasol acknowledged that he's been thinking about Bryant often in a recent piece he penned for the Players Tribune about the COVID-19 pandemic titled, "We may be isolated but we're in this together."

During this uncertain time, he's tried to channel the attitude that Bryant had when he encountered setbacks over his 20-season career with the Lakers. 

“I’m really missing Kobe these days, and the things he taught me are louder than ever in my mind, and in my heart,” Gasol wrote.  

Gasol added that we could all learn from Bryant's approach.

“We need this mentality right now," Gasol wrote. "We may not be in control of very much, but we still have choices. The way we respond to the pandemic, and its aftermath, will define this moment in our history. Will we come out of this grateful and united — or resentful and divided? It’s up to us.”