Pau Gasol Reflects On Playing With Kobe And Decision To Leave LA
And so here we are, Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game. We’ve had all year to prepare ourselves, and yet it still seems like its come too fast. Friend’s, former teammates, and legends have all had their chance to congratulate and say farewell to Kobe.
“If you play with him, you’re looking every day at living proof of why the greats are the greats. It’s not by accident. It’s an obsession to reach that level and remain at that level. The dedication, the commitment, is such a unique thing. You don’t find it,” said Gasol according to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins.
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) April 12, 2016
“He said he wanted me to stay in L.A. and battle with him and finish our careers together. Those were his words. I told him I was in a place where I needed a change in my heart. I needed a change of air. It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, telling him, ‘I’m deciding not to play with you anymore.'”
“I signed with the Bulls because I wanted to put myself in position to win another title. I haven’t been able to do that. I miss him a lot. I miss his presence. I miss that attitude. Not many players have it.”
The entire season we have seen Kobe adorned with gifts and praise everywhere he’s traveled. He’s been cheered back onto the court in other teams’ arenas. He’s signed countless sneakers for his fellow NBA players.
Now he says his final goodbye to the city that has watched him through every up and down over the past 20 years. Thanks for the memories Kobe.