Pau Gasol reveals why he named his daughter after Gianna Bryant
The late Kobe Bryant treated his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate in Pau Gasol as one of his closest friends in the league. Due to their special bond, the Gasol family was left in shock after hearing the news of Bryant’s death along with his daughter Gianna who was both caught in a tragic helicopter accident back in January of 2020.
Gasol felt that he needed to pay tribute to his close friend’s departed daughter. He eventually incorporated the name ‘Gianna’ as his baby daughter’s second name.
“My daughter’s full name is Elisabet Gianna Gasol,” he said via ESPN. “It’s a way, not just to honor Gianna, but to always have them present. They’re our family and in which way can you have them more present than to have it in your daughter’s name or your son’s?”
Needless to say, the former Lakers star admitted that using the name ‘Gianna’ was never put in question. He always wanted to highlight her talent and the toughness that the 13-year-old showed back when she was still living.
“We had more issues coming up with her first name than with her middle name. It represents so much, the name. The kindness, the heart that Gianna had, the talent, just with the toughness that she showed. Her dad and her mom in her, it’s something that has a lot of meaning to us, and that’s why she’s named Elisabet Gianna.”
Gasol also used to watch Gianna play basketball games with her AAU squad which was coached by the Lakers legend himself. The Spaniard knew that the younger Bryant would eventually carry her father’s legacy and would go on to make a positive impact in both youth and women’s basketball.
“She could have changed women’s basketball,” he said. “Hopefully that will still happen, but she was that meaningful, that important to the game in what she could have meant. So I think it’s on us to have her present and to not let her passing take away from how much she could have impacted.”
After their sudden passing, Pau Gasol was left with no other choice but to continue to preserve and emanate the family’s legacy in any way that he can.