Lakers great Pau Gasol’s touching message to Kobe Bryant after Giannis Antetokounmpo completes challenge
Los Angeles Lakers legend Pau Gasol was undoubtedly ecstatic and emotional after watching Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks win the 2021 NBA title. After all, it means Giannis was finally able to complete Kobe Bryant’s challenge to him.
To recall, in 2019, Bryant challenged Antetokounmpo to win the championship next after succeeding in winning the MVP award. Two years or 757 days later, the Greek Freak did just that.
Gasol, who had been great friends with Kobe since playing for years with the Lakers, couldn’t be any happier for the accomplishment. And he made sure to let Kobe know that his legacy lives on with the younger generation of athletes headed by Giannis.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 21, 2021
For what it’s worth, Giannis Antetokounmpo also spoke about Kobe Bryant’s challenge to him after he won the Larry O’Brien trophy and Finals MVP award on Tuesday. While he admitted that asking the Lakers legend for his challenge started as a joke, the moment the Black Mamba responded made him realize what he can accomplish.
Here are Kobe’s challenges to Giannis:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 27, 2017
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 25, 2019
According to the Bucks superstar, Bryant’s response pushed him to be even better and exceed his limits to touch a territory he never thought he’d be able to reach. But now, he’s no longer just an MVP winner and Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also a champion.
"Kobe Bryant thinks I can do this… I had to do it."
Giannis on Kobe challenging him to win MVP back in 2017, and then to win an NBA Championship in 2019. pic.twitter.com/MVXbuuTIah
— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2021
It’s unfortunate Kobe wasn’t there to witness how his words inspired Giannis, but as Pau Gasol hinted, the Lakers icon is surely proud of it.