During Pau Gasol’s six and a half seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant, the star duo led Los Angeles to a pair of championships and three NBA Finals appearances.
The origin for that prosperous run was established the instant Gasol joined the team after he was traded from Memphis in early February 2008. Gasol was recently on The Old Man & the Three podcast, where he talked about his initial conversation with Bryant that set the tone for their partnership.
He said he arrived at the team’s hotel in Washington D.C. around 1 a.m. and Bryant, despite the Lakers playing at noon the next day, was insistent on meeting with Gasol that night.
“He’s like, ‘Look, I’m very happy that you’re here. Let’s acknowledge that. I’m very happy, very excited that you’re here. But let’s go f*cking win — let’s go win a title,'” Gasol recalled. “He hooked me from the very first moment that I landed and were in the same place with the team. And he didn’t wait until the next day to tell me. So, I was like, ‘OK, so this is how it’s done.'”
Pau Gasol on a late night meeting with Kobe right after Pau was traded to the Lakers pic.twitter.com/YqMqmRgAAp
— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) March 25, 2022
Gasol’s two-way exploits were vital to Los Angeles’ success during his tenure and it’s clear Bryant made known their intentions from the outset. They were a tremendously talented and impactful pairing together, which began from Day 1.