Kobe Bryant has had a lot of teammates come and go over the years with some of them finding it incredibly difficult to play alongside the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. Current Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol is one of the few exceptions.
Before facing Gasol for the last time on Sunday night in Chicago, Bryant talked about trying to get the two-time NBA champion to re-sign with the Lakers in the summer of 2014. Kobe said he did everything he could to try to convince Gasol to stay in Los Angeles via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Kobe on Pau leaving LA: "I tried everything under the sun to get him to stay. He just felt completely disrespected." Too many trade rumors/
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 21, 2016
Bryant and Gasol still have a close bond to this day despite the perennial All-Star forward deciding to leave the Lakers for the Bulls. Both players still speak highly of one another and seem to have a friendship which will stand the test of time.
Sunday’s game will likely be an emotional one for both veterans. Gasol has already played his last game against Bryant at the Staples Center, and will see his former teammate in an opponent’s uniform one final time at the United Center.
Following the game against the Bulls, the Lakers will continue their road trip traveling to Wisconsin to face the Milwaukee Bucks. Bryant and company will then end their short stint on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday before heading back to Staples Center to face the Grizzlies once again on Friday night in Los Angeles.