When Kobe Bryant passed away on Jan. 26, there were specific sports figures that everybody knew would be deeply hurt.
It included people like former Los Angeles Lakers great Pau Gasol, who always referred to Bryant as his brother. What many people did not realize is just how close Bryant was to Michael Jordan, a relationship that was discussed in Episode 5 of “The Last Dance” on Sunday night.
Everybody saw the similarities in the way they played basketball, and it was clear that Bryant modeled his game after the all-time great. However, what managed to stay behind the scenes was how frequently Jordan helped Bryant perfect that craft. In many ways, Jordan helped Bryant become the next Jordan, which is one of basketball’s most difficult feats.
Gasol, who became best friends with Bryant during their time together on the Lakers, has been understandably devastated. Gasol saw Bryant as his big brother, and it was completely mutual love between the two.
While watching Bryant’s segment on “The Last Dance,” Gasol took to social media to voice his reaction, posting a photo of Jordan posting up against Bryant in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) May 4, 2020
For fans, watching the segment between Bryant and Jordan brought us a few laughs and some great memories of moments that connected two of the greatest players of all time.
For Gasol, watching this brought back memories of his friend and big brother. Gasol has been very vocal about how he’s coped with the loss of Bryant, and how he and his wife moved back to L.A. in order to remain close to Vanessa Bryant and help her in any way possible.
There’s no doubt that what Gasol felt for Bryant, Bryant felt right back for him. When a documentary eventually comes out about Bryant, as was recently teased, Gasol will absolutely be a huge part of it, as there is almost no one in the NBA world who knew Bryant the way Gasol did.
While Bryant’s “The Last Dance” sequence was short, it undoubtedly brought back tons of emotions to everyone watching. Perhaps Jordan felt it was the best way to honor him when he was putting the final touches on this documentary.