Skip to main content

HOW PAU GASOL BECAME 'PABLO' "Kobe always tried to get my inner fire out“


After Shaq departed from the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2004, following their historic run together, Kobe had to wait few years for his team to acquire him a new partner with whom he would go on a championship quest. In 2008. the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol, a move that will prove to be a start of a new championship era in Los Angeles. The two led the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals from 2008 to 2010, winning back-to-back NBA titles.

Gasol was always a perfect Robin to Kobe's Batman. He was very versatile and was the ideal fit in Phil Jackson's triangle offense. More importantly, he had that winning mentality that Kobe as a leader required. Bryant was always the vocal leader on and off the floor, having an unmatched competitive drive and hunger for winning. Gasol, on the other hand, needed a little push to fire the same type of competitiveness inside of him. Kobe found a unique way to do it.

Gasol talked to Spanish publication La Resistencia about how Bryant gave him the nickname “Pablo”, after a notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Kobe didn't draw any comparisons between the two, but just wanted to push the similar relentlessness out of Gasol and induce the same killer mentality.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“I am a calm, leisurely person-the peacemaker. Kobe always tried to get my inner fire out, and he called me Pablo because of Pablo Escobar. Not because he was a drug trafficker, but because of that murderous instinct. To help me get that aggressiveness, Kobe compared me to him. He wanted to spark the spark of his peers' competitive ability. I wanted to take out the winning claw that he had in everyone. When we met the 2010 Celtics, we were prepared for that battle. He understood it as such and helped me to grow my level in those days.”

Pau Gasol

Kobe's methods paid dividends. It' not easy to find players who are as fired up as Kobe was on the floor. Pau was that, especially during those incredible clashes with the Celtics. He was fierce and relentless, going up against one of the best power forwards the league has ever seen in Kevin Garnett. It seemed like nobody wanted to mess with Pablo. That sounds familiar.

Allen Iverson created his own path to the NBA that many players after him have looked to follow

'I'm a Sixer for life' - Allen Iverson doesn't understand why the Sixers won't consider giving him a role in the organization

Allen Iverson wanted to help the Sixers but is wondering why nothing has materialized yet to this day.


“It's not a hard shot to learn” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why no player in NBA history has perfected the skyhook

It might not have been passed to one generation after another, but that proves that only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar perfected one of the most iconic signature moves in the history of the sport.

North Carolina Tar Heels former guard Michael Jordan and former head coach Dean Smith

“It was Coach [Dean] Smith's call” — Michael Jordan opens up about what convinced him to declare for the NBA Draft

Michael Jordan's college coach Dean Smith was the one who pushed him to forego his senior year in North Carolina.

Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac

“He enjoyed smoking cigarettes more than shooting free throws in practice” — Vlade Divac was called out for his smoking addiction during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers

While Divac's smoking addiction might've earned him a spot on the Lakers roster, it also certainly rubbed his teammates the wrong way.

Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan

“One of the bad decisions I made was to go back and play” — Michael Jordan on why he regrets coming back to play for the Washington Wizards

MJ thought he was ”being innovative in my job by going down and evaluating the talent firsthand.” It was the exact opposite.

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension - “This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension -“This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Barnes said he got the full scoop of the Udoka situation. and says that the story is deeper and uglier than he was made to believe, although he wouldn't divulge the details of the story