This story first appeared on ClutchPoints.
The Los Angeles Lakers just announced that Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement is set to take place on March 7, 2023. It’s going to be a bittersweet occasion as the organization celebrates the career of one of the most iconic big men in franchise history.
At the same time, though, given how Gasol’s name will forever be coupled with the late, great Kobe Bryant, there’s also no doubt that there’s going to be more than a few tears shed during Pau’s special night.
A video of Kobe talking about Gasol’s jersey retirement ceremony has resurfaced and it’s completely heartbreaking. In it, Bryant talks about how Gasol was integral to the Lakers’ two championships in 2009 and 2010 (h/t Talkin’ NBA on Twitter):
“There’s no debate,” Kobe said. “Pau, 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. I can’t see how those two championships without Pau Gasol. We know that, everybody knows that.”
Toward the end of his message, Kobe then expressed how excited he was to take part in Gasol’s retirement ceremony:
“I really look forward to the day when he’s there giving his speech at center court in front of all the fans who supported him through all the years,” Kobe said with a smile. “So, it’s gonna be an awesome night.”
Unfortunately, we have all been robbed of what would have been a momentous occasion wherein Kobe Bryant would have been a presenter during Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement ceremony. He wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
Nevertheless, we’re pretty sure Kobe will be smiling down from heaven as we all honor his buddy’s invaluable contributions to the Lakers franchise. – Rappler.com