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Pau Gasol says he’s ‘happy’ to take passenger seat with Kobe Bryant in Lakers

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant

Milwaukee Bucks center Pau Gasol is nearing the end of his career as an NBA player. He signed with the Eastern Conference’s top team with the hopes of winning one more title before everything is said and done. But even if he doesn’t, he already has two championships in his belt, both won while he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Gasol by the Memphis Grizzlies to the Lakers in 2008, in exchange for the draft rights to his younger brother Marc. Gasol quickly propelled the purple and gold into becoming legitimate title contenders, and although they lost to the Boston Celtics in his first year in Los Angeles, Pau and the Lakers were able to bounce back by winning the titles in 2009 and 2010.

But aside from changing teams, Pau also had to adjust his game when he joined the Lakers. From being the primary option and the star in Memphis, he was the obvious ‘number two’ in LA, behind superstar Kobe Bryant, and in his interview with ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Gasol said he was perfectly fine with it.

“I was happy to take that passenger seat and say, ‘Hey, I’m here. Whenever you want me to take the wheel, I’ll drive. Whenever you get tired, I’ll jump in. I’m here to do whatever it takes. Let’s go.’”

Gasol’s willingness to become the second option has worked wonders for the Lakers. They were clearly one of the best teams during his time there, and winning two championships wouldn’t have been possible if he didn’t allow himself to take a backseat to Kobe.