Skip to main content

Pau Gasol speaks on Kobe's death for the first time


It took a year, but Pau Gasol has finally broken the silence on the death of his big brother Kobe Bryant.

In an interview with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Gasol described the moment he found out about the tragedy that took the lives of nine people, including his former teammate and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Pau was in Spain at the time, with his now-wife, Cat, driving home when her phone started getting news alerts and text messages.

You start getting in this trance where you're completely frozen. You're just stuck in complete shock. You can't believe it. I still for days, weeks, I still didn't want to believe it.

Pau Gasol, ESPN

The initial denial grew into a self-created glimmer of hope. It wasn't logical, nor was it realistic. But it never was with Kobe Bryant. He would always find a way to beat the odds, and at that moment, that's what Gasol hoped for -- that he and his beautiful daughter beat the odds in the most important game of their lives.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

You still thought that Kobe could have gotten out of that accident by his own feet and carried his daughter -- and if there were any other survivors -- with him to the hospital. We had that perception of him as that strong, as that invincible. If someone could have survived it, it was him.

Pau Gasol, ESPN

Gasol was shocked. The news left him speechless, in tears for days. But he knew right away what he needed to do. "We just booked a flight to California," Gasol said. "We decided we needed to be there, and we left. We didn't know if we were leaving for a week, two weeks, or a month, but we needed to be there."

We wanted to be close to Vanessa and the kids and be there, as Uncle Pau, for whatever they needed.

Pau Gasol, ESPN

Pau and Cat stayed near the Bryants' for several months, providing the family with as much comfort and care as possible through their unthinkable tragedy. According to Shelbourne, Pau even sent Vanessa flowers on what would've been her and Kobe's 19th anniversary and a birthday cake on what would've been Gianna's 14th birthday in May. Two families even went on a boat trip together.

Gasol did everything he could to help Vanessa and her three daughters through the most difficult time of their lives. And according to him, that's exactly what Kobe would've wanted him to do -- to take care of the ones he loves and help others learn from the legacies he and Gianna left in this world.

Pau is still grieving his friend's death but is making sure to take the burden from the ones suffering the most. He's doing it unobtrusively, selflessly, and in silence. That's exactly the type of player Gasol was. That's the type of teammate he was to Kobe. And that's the type of person he'll forever be for the Bryants.

Bol Bol

Paolo Banchero compares Bol Bol to highly-touted prospect Victor Wembanyama - “Bol’s a freak of nature”

Banchero tried to avoid comparing Bol to Victor Wembanyama, but outlined the similarities between the star prospect and the new member of Orlando's frontcourt

Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet believes the Toronto Raptors would have three-peated had Kawhi Leonard stayed with the team

VanVleet said that had Leonard stuck with Toronto, the Raptors could have three-peated by winning the 2020 and 2021 NBA Finals

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas playing against the New York Knicks

"Everybody wants to play in the Garden, besides the Knicks" — Gilbert Arenas goes in on New York Knicks fans

Gilbert Arenas breaks down why superstars don't want to play for the New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley

"Patrick Beverley in the playoffs is an issue" — Iman Shumpert speaks on Patrick Beverley's value to the Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone can see it right now, but Shumpert understands the importance of Pat Bev to the Lakers.


"It was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything" — Kobe Bryant savagely criticized Shaquille O'Neal in an unreleased statement

Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck talked about at the unpublished Kobe interview where he apparently ripped Shaq like never before.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

"He’ll give you the shirt off his back" — Juwan Howard's Michael Jordan story reveals the other side of Black Jesus

Juwan Howard expected to get trash-talked to death upon seeing Michael Jordan in Los Angeles.