Lakers’ Kobe Bryant speaking Spanish helped chemistry with Pau Gasol
Los Angeles Lakers legend Pau Gasol recently went on an interview with Omar Raja of ESPN, and as expected, one of the topics of the conversation delved into his relationship with the late great Kobe Bryant.
An emotional Gasol opened up about Bryant and how they had an instant connection from the get-go. This was thanks in large part to Bryant making an extra effort to make Gasol feel welcome and wanted with the Lakers by speaking to the big man in his native tongue — something that had an immediate positive impact on Gasol.
“Right away from the first game he started speaking Spanish,” Gasol said, via Christian Rivas of Silver Screen & Roll. “On our coverages, on our plays. It was great. It was something that I obviously didn’t expect at the beginning, even though I knew that he spoke really good Italian because he spent quite a bit of time in Italy when his dad played there when he was young.
“But then being married to Vanessa, she speaks Spanish very well (and) obviously he picked up some stuff. He was great, we did speak quite a bit of Spanish, especially our first years so that the opponents couldn’t understand. And they would point it out, they would go ‘what are you guys talking about?’ It was pretty funny … It created that bond and that relationship from the get go, and he set the tone.”
As it turns out, not only was this a great gesture from Kobe Bryant but at the same time, it also gave the pair a competitive advantage against the opponents. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. That’s just typical of the one and only Bryant.