Lakers Legend Pau Gasol Receives 2023 Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Without a doubt, one of the most beloved Los Angeles Lakers players in recent memory is Spanish big man Pau Gasol. After being acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol would partner with the late, great Kobe Bryant to bring the Lakers back-to-back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010.

But for as great as Gasol was on the court, he is perhaps even more amazing off of it. In addition to being one of the most genuine and likable players, Gasol has been doing everything he can to ensure the legacy of his close friend Kobe continues on. One thing Bryant was extremely passionate about is women’s sports and Gasol was recently honored by the WNBA for his contributions.

Gasol received the 2023 Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award and was honored during All-Star Weekend for everything he has done, via Arash Markazi of ESPN, and Gasol himself was grateful for the award:

Gasol has done a lot of work to help push women’s athletics and has truly taken on a favorite cause of Kobe’s, which speaks to his character. Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant was on hand to present the award to Gasol and had nothing but praise for the former Lakers star, via

“I’m so pleased that Pau has been chosen to receive this award. Pau has done so much to promote women and girls in sports and cares deeply about spreading a message of equality, which was so important to Kobe and Gianna,” said Vanessa Bryant, Chair of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a positive impact for underserved athletes and boys and girls in sports. “We are grateful to the WNBA and Pau for continuing to honor Kobe and Gianna in this way,” said Bryant.

Gasol was an extremely deserving recipient of the award and there is no doubt he will continue to push this cause just as Kobe would have done.

Lakers legend Pau Gasol says Kobe Bryant ‘will always be with me’

There is no denying how close Gasol and Bryant had gotten over the years and they were best friends. Like everyone else, Gasol was absolutely gutted at the tragic death of his close friend and former teammate, but the Lakers legend believes Kobe is always with him.

The big man noted that Kobe will always be in his heart and not just for basketball, but in all of his accomplishments personally as well.

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