It took a while for the public to know how Pau Gasol had been since Kobe Bryant’s death.
In an interview posted on the Los Angeles Times YouTube channel on Friday, Gasol reacted the way many people close to Bryant did.
“It’s hard to find words. I couldn’t talk to anyone for days,” he said. “Basically I didn’t leave the house.”
The only person Gasol communicated with initially was Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s former agent and the current Lakers general manager, “just to know what was going on, what happened.”
Gasol said he found out about Bryant’s death as he was driving home from a basketball game in Spain. In the vehicle, he said his wife started to get messages reporting the helicopter crash that killed 9 people, including Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.
“I didn’t quite understand what (my wife) was saying,” said Gasol, Bryant’s teammate on two Laker championships.
“Little by little, she said my face went white when she told me (the news).”
When they got to the house, Gasol recalled, he started crying.
Apart from visits to a clinic where he had his foot tested, Gasol didn’t go out, until he decided to fly to Los Angeles.
“I just felt wrong being away from (Los Angeles) when I had the chance (to go),” Gasol said.
“It’s not easy to travel in crutches, with a boot, but I needed to be here, to be close to his family, be available.”
Gasol isn’t the first teammate of Bryant to be interviewed by the LA Times.
Four days after Bryant’s death on January 26, Metta World Peace, also known as Ron Artest, sat down with the Times to reminisce about the one-time NBA MVP, whom he played with and won a title in 2010.
“It’s just such a shock,” World Peace said. “I know he’s looking down on us is one thing I can say. And Gigi (Bryant’s daughter) is looking down on us.”
Here are selected videos of Bryant’s teammates talking about his passing:
Rick Fox and Derek Fisher
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