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Ex-Lakers star Pau Gasol announces birth of daughter, who’s named after Gianna Bryant

Pau Gasol, Lakers, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol found a touching way to honor his late friend, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna Bryant, following the birth of his daughter.

Gasol and his wife, Catherine McDonnell, welcomed a baby girl on Sunday. After that, Gasol announced on Twitter the couple have decided to name her Elisabet Gianna Gasol in honor of Gigi.

Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant became fast friends after the All-Star big man arrived in LA at the trade deadline in 2008.

Gasol and Bryant would go on to win back-to-back championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, and the two remained close after their playing days ended.

Unfortunately, tragedy intervened.

Kobe and Gianna were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash outside Calabasas in late January. Many were devastated by the loss of father and daughter, including Gasol. Pau reportedly did not speak to anyone following the death of his former Lakers running mate and the man he called a brother.

However, Gasol has taken it upon himself to carry on the legacy Kobe and Gianna left behind.

The Spain international and Lakers icon has spent time with Kobe’s wife Vanessa and children, who have taken to calling him “uncle.” Naming his daughter after Gianna would seem to be Pau’s latest act in carrying those legacies into the future.

Vanessa, for her part, reacted to the news and showed her appreciation to the Gasol family. She congratulated the couple for the birth of their daughter and shared her excitement to see the little angel soon.