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Pau Gasol was cemented as a Los Angeles Lakers legend on Tuesday night, and Vanessa Bryant was right there to honor her late husband’s friend and teammate.


Source: PATRICK T. FALLON / Getty

As Gasol got to see his jersey being raised into the rafters of Arena, Vanessa presented Pau with a video from Kobe Bryant to commemorate the special moment. Gasol–who won two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 with The Lakers–got emotional during the ceremony while watching a video from his late teammate.

While introducing Pau for Tuesday’s ceremony, Vanessa shared a sweet message that played in the arena formerly known as the Staples arena at the start of the dedication. Following her introduction, fans got to see an old clip from 2016 of Bryant predicting the jersey retirement of Gasol, crediting Pau for being a crucial part of his NBA championships.

“There’s no debating how when he retires, he will have his number in the rafters next to mine. The reality is, I don’t win those championships without Pau,” Bryant said in the video. “And I really look forward to the day when he’s there giving his speech at center court.”

Pau Gasol’s #16 jersey was retired as Los Angeles Lakers owners, players, and fans all gathered to pay homage to his time on the team. That night, the Lakers went on to win 112-103 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

During his speech, Gasol thanked the people in the audience for the acknowledgment of his impact on the team. He also explained that he wouldn’t be able to continue without acknowledging his late friend Kobe Bryant, who was such a crucial part of his career. He also emphasized that he wished he could share this moment with not only Kobe, but his late daughter, Gigi.

“But I can’t go on without talking about the person and the face I don’t see — the brother that elevated me, inspired me, challenged me to be a better player,” he said. “Just to be a better man overall.”

He continued: “I miss him so much like many of us do. I love him. I wish he was here with Gigi. I really do… but I think he’ll be proud. And he was looking forward to this moment, so I love you brother.”

Congrats to Pau Gasol on cementing his place as a Los Angeles Lakers legend!


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