Pau Gasol: Kobe Bryant Is ‘Mature Enough To Accept’ Role Change With Lakers
Pau Gasol: Kobe Bryant Is ‘mature Enough To Accept’ Role Change With Lakers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

No player in the NBA today is closer to or understands Kobe Bryant better than Pau Gasol. The two future Hall of Famers created a lasting bond during their seven seasons together with the Los Angeles Lakers, and that relationship continues to this day even after Gasol left the team for the Chicago Bulls last year.

With Bryant entering his 20th season and potentially facing a drastic change to his role on the team, Gasol was asked about how Kobe would handle it. The two-time NBA champion believes Bryant’s mature enough to accept the inevitable changes on the horizon as he told David Aldridge of NBA.com:

“I think he’s at a point in his career that he’s mature enough to accept certain things, and accept uncertainty,” said the Bulls’ Pau Gasol, one of Bryant’s closer friends and his Lakers teammate from 2008-14. “Probably earlier on in his career, he wouldn’t have dealt with it as well. But I think he understands they have a pretty young group — with some talent, for sure. But he also understands he’s in his 20th year in his career. He hasn’t had a full, healthy year for the last three years, pretty much. I think he’s just looking forward to having a healthy year and to compete and have fun and be the player he is, and we’ll see where the team goes.”

As of right now, it appears Bryant will be shifting to small forward to start the season with Jordan Clarkson taking over the role of starting shooting guard. Rookie D’Angelo Russell will seemingly be the team’s starter at point guard as well.

Although it is a rather drastic change for Bryant to play off the ball, the 19-year veteran appears up to the task. Kobe has said on more than one occasion recently that he’s happy playing the in the three spot and is embracing the change.

Kobe is expected to get his second start at small forward on Tuesday night with the Lakers facing the Utah Jazz in their second and final preseason game in Honolulu, Hawaii. Bryant finished with five points in 12 minutes on 1-of-5 shooting.

Back to LA, Pau! We miss you. You can imagine? Pau and Hibbert with D’lo, Clarkson and Kobe?

  • Back to LA, Pau! We miss you. You can imagine? Pau and Hibbert with D’lo, Clarkson and Kobe?

  • Pau should have been mature enough to have picked a better team to leave us for than the Bulls. Talk about a bad decision.

  • Pau should have been mature enough to have picked a better team to leave us for than the Bulls. Talk about a bad decision.

  • At that time, the Bulls were a good choice. And they still are if they can be healthy.

    Why do you gotta make some cheap ass negative comment about everything?

    – maybe you need to talk to a doctor about happy pills.

  • Kobe is too smart to ignore his situation and the Lakers situation.

    He’s also too smart to bite the hand that feeds and ruin his own legacy, broadcasting future, and business potential.

    This is what happens when Superstars fade.

  • Kobe is too smart to ignore his situation and the Lakers situation.

    He’s also too smart to bite the hand that feeds and ruin his own legacy, broadcasting future, and business potential.

    This is what happens when Superstars fade.

  • DIMWITTY : He had a chance to stay, the Lakers offered him a deal but PAU wanted to move on and try for one more ring, I don’t blame him the way he had been treated by two different coaches and his name was up for trade, all I can say I am happy for him and he is in joying where he is at have another great year again PAU.

  • DIMWITTY : He had a chance to stay, the Lakers offered him a deal but PAU wanted to move on and try for one more ring, I don’t blame him the way he had been treated by two different coaches and his name was up for trade, all I can say I am happy for him and he is in joying where he is at have another great year again PAU.

  • I’d forget about it. Pau is on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t have much left. We need Randle to develop with Clarkson and D’Lo.

  • I’d forget about it. Pau is on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t have much left. We need Randle to develop with Clarkson and D’Lo.

  • Al, I don’t like this new turn of events were you are reverting back to your mean old ways. Was the name calling necessary? I’m fully cognizant of the events leading to Pau’s departure but I thank you for your opinion.

  • Al, I don’t like this new turn of events were you are reverting back to your mean old ways. Was the name calling necessary? I’m fully cognizant of the events leading to Pau’s departure but I thank you for your opinion.

  • Pau had one of his best seasons last year, and in the EURO league last summer he was the MVP of the league, and still looking strong..

  • Pau had one of his best seasons last year, and in the EURO league last summer he was the MVP of the league, and still looking strong..

  • The good players as FA can go where they want to, and can take any offer they get just as PAU did.

  • The good players as FA can go where they want to, and can take any offer they get just as PAU did.

  • It was always 20/20 for me. If I were Pau I would have went to the Warriors, Spurs, or even the Heat. The Bulls franchise player has been hurt every year for the past 4 or so years. Why go there? It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Must have been the vertigo affecting his vision.

  • It was always 20/20 for me. If I were Pau I would have went to the Warriors, Spurs, or even the Heat. The Bulls franchise player has been hurt every year for the past 4 or so years. Why go there? It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Must have been the vertigo affecting his vision.

  • Did I use a bad name calling you, and I LOVE me and I have never been BAD, and the DIMWITTY IS THE NAME I HAVE ALWAYS CALLED YOU, are you getting to OLD to remember or did you just wake up from a long sleep?

  • Did I use a bad name calling you, and I LOVE me and I have never been BAD, and the DIMWITTY IS THE NAME I HAVE ALWAYS CALLED YOU, are you getting to OLD to remember or did you just wake up from a long sleep?

  • I remember and I think it’s actually quite childish for a man pushing 80. Should I revert back to calling you a terrorist? Come on, do you remember your apology a few days ago or is your Alzheimers acting up? “I don’t know I guess I am not getting enough, thanks for not saying OLD FART, MY BAD”

  • I remember and I think it’s actually quite childish for a man pushing 80. Should I revert back to calling you a terrorist? Come on, do you remember your apology a few days ago or is your Alzheimers acting up? “I don’t know I guess I am not getting enough, thanks for not saying OLD FART, MY BAD”

  • You know me, NAMES don’t bother me I just have not seen you here lately, I thought I would give you a heat check you know we will always be friends, don’t get to excited it makes your blood run thick.

  • You know me, NAMES don’t bother me I just have not seen you here lately, I thought I would give you a heat check you know we will always be friends, don’t get to excited it makes your blood run thick.

  • Maybe, but the question that has to be asked is, for how much longer? Getting a season or 2 out of him isn’t worth it if it stunts the growth of Randle.

  • Maybe, but the question that has to be asked is, for how much longer? Getting a season or 2 out of him isn’t worth it if it stunts the growth of Randle.

  • No just for a couple of years, I would rather have RANDLE and all of our young guys this is going to turn out to be one of the best team for quite a few years.

  • No just for a couple of years, I would rather have RANDLE and all of our young guys this is going to turn out to be one of the best team for quite a few years.

  • Best to stick with the long overdue youth movement. Gotta stop looking back sooner rather than later. This was also my point with Metta and LO. The triangle is over. It’s time for the next episode of the Show. Let the new-generation define what name especially in front of this show.

  • Best to stick with the long overdue youth movement. Gotta stop looking back sooner rather than later. This was also my point with Metta and LO. The triangle is over. It’s time for the next episode of the Show. Let the new-generation define what name goes in front of this show.

  • I needed a break from you crazies and nothing was going on that required my usual expert opinion. I recall quite a few instances of you throwing a tantrum when I called you names though. If my blood runs too thick I can always use your warfarin, old man.

  • I needed a break from you crazies and nothing was going on that required my usual expert opinion. I recall quite a few instances of you throwing a tantrum when I called you names though. If my blood runs too thick I can always use your warfarin, old man.

  • Did you really just say how smart Kobe was. He made the biggest P.R. blunders in basket ball history.

  • Did you really just say how smart Kobe was. He made the biggest P.R. blunders in basket ball history.

  • Do you realize that Kobe is and will always be the most devices player in Lakers history. Jerry Buss had to defend his decision to keep him over several players.

  • Do you realize that Kobe is and will always be the most devices player in Lakers history. Jerry Buss had to defend his decision to keep him over several players.

  • With success….No one remembers or cares……Just maybe a Hater or two that’s in Denial….Now walk it off…….Kobe is a Genius.

  • With success….No one remembers or cares……Just maybe a Hater or two that’s in Denial….Now walk it off…….Kobe is a Genius.

  • We appreciate Pau….but let’s not forget when many Laker fans wanted him traded…Remember “put on your Big Boy pants”…..Pau made a smart decision by going to the Bulls…..It’s much easier in the East…he knew how hard it was over in the West.

  • We appreciate Pau….but let’s not forget when many Laker fans wanted him traded…Remember “put on your Big Boy pants”…..Pau made a smart decision by going to the Bulls…..It’s much easier in the East…he knew how hard it was over in the West.

  • It’s a long shot, but under the right circumstances, Clarkson could get the nod to the all-star game.

    with Kobe’s new role, Kobe probably going to be voted in by fans likely at the SF position. If so, then Clarkson has to fight hayward , Klay, Harden for the SG spot. Who knows, 1, 2 of them gets injured. Of course, this is dependent on Lakers staying in playoff contention near all-star break, 8-9th seed should still give Clarkson some looks.

  • It’s a long shot, but under the right circumstances, Clarkson could get the nod to the all-star game.

    with Kobe’s new role, Kobe probably going to be voted in by fans likely at the SF position. If so, then Clarkson has to fight hayward , Klay, Harden for the SG spot. Who knows, 1, 2 of them gets injured. Of course, this is dependent on Lakers staying in playoff contention near all-star break, 8-9th seed should still give Clarkson some looks.

  • Kobe will always be Kobe. He will not change and will not take lesser role. He may change his position but that doesn’t mean anything. Sorry Pau, I don’t think you know Kobe that well.

  • Kobe will always be Kobe. He will not change and will not take lesser role. He may change his position but that doesn’t mean anything. Sorry Pau, I don’t think you know Kobe that well.

  • He is smart but maybe not too street smart or has a lot of common sense. His arrogance was the reason for those. The male ego is very fragile.

  • He is smart but maybe not too street smart or has a lot of common sense. His arrogance was the reason for those. The male ego is very fragile.

  • If arrogance makes me as successful as Kobe…..Keep it coming…..You do what Works for you….especially when you back it up…..At Ease.

  • If arrogance makes me as successful as Kobe…..Keep it coming…..You do what Works for you….especially when you back it up…..At Ease.

  • I think we talk about this the wrong way when we talk about a smaller “role.” Tim Duncan plays less minutes, puts up less, etc. but his role isn’t smaller. Just his minutes. Kobe could play twenty minutes a game and he will still have the role as the team’s leader and face of the franchise. I’ve never met the man, but I am guessing no one wants to go out and get injured, deal with rehab, etc. I think he might be very happy to put up less minutes and finish the season healthy. Then again he might go out and try to put in 35 minutes a game. You just never know with Kobe.

  • I think we talk about this the wrong way when we talk about a smaller “role.” Tim Duncan plays less minutes, puts up less, etc. but his role isn’t smaller. Just his minutes. Kobe could play twenty minutes a game and he will still have the role as the team’s leader and face of the franchise. I’ve never met the man, but I am guessing no one wants to go out and get injured, deal with rehab, etc. I think he might be very happy to put up less minutes and finish the season healthy. Then again he might go out and try to put in 35 minutes a game. You just never know with Kobe.

  • Randle is trade bait, in my eyes. I don’t think he has a place anymore with Nance and ABrown in the fold.

  • Randle is trade bait, in my eyes. I don’t think he has a place anymore with Nance and ABrown in the fold.

  • Brown and Nance have nothing to do with Randle’s status. Those guys are 12-15 guys at the end of the bench. Both have the potential to be regular bench rotation guys and Brown could possibly start in the future at SF for defense, but had nothing to do with Randle and his future. The Lakers are going to build around Randle, Clarkson and Russell and they’re highest on Randle.

  • Hell, girl, we need someone to get Scott to taper off this Princeton fixation of his. Nobody actually runs that with any success. God knows what these kids think the Princeton is. We need something simpler. Maybe we should bring MDA back….:-)

  • Brown and Nance have nothing to do with Randle’s status. Those guys are 12-15 guys at the end of the bench. Both have the potential to be regular bench rotation guys and Brown could possibly start in the future at SF for defense, but had nothing to do with Randle and his future. The Lakers are going to build around Randle, Clarkson and Russell and they’re highest on Randle.

  • Hell, girl, we need someone to get Scott to taper off this Princeton fixation of his. Nobody actually runs that with any success. God knows what these kids think the Princeton is. We need something simpler. Maybe we should bring MDA back….:-)

  • You don’t need the triangle to keep Metta around. He’s a defense first guy and he didn’t understand the triangle. He’s a mentor at this stage. The youth movement is exactly the reason you keep him around. There is so much he can teach and is teaching Randle right now.

  • You don’t need the triangle to keep Metta around. He’s a defense first guy and he didn’t understand the triangle. He’s a mentor at this stage. The youth movement is exactly the reason you keep him around. There is so much he can teach and is teaching Randle right now.

  • Trade bait. I would love to be wrong, though. Maybe someone will have a weakling at PF so Randle can dominate him. Otherwise….

  • Trade bait. I would love to be wrong, though. Maybe someone will have a weakling at PF so Randle can dominate him. Otherwise….

  • If only Randle would demonstrate a little of it. He has to learn that he cannot do in the NBA what he did in college. The NBA is big strong and fast, too.

  • If only Randle would demonstrate a little of it. He has to learn that he cannot do in the NBA what he did in college. The NBA is big strong and fast, too.

  • Pau always does well in the EURO league because of 1) shorter seasons and 2) he seems to care more there unlike the teams that actually pay him to go out and play.

    As far as one of his best seasons…I guess? Lot of talent on that team to make it easier on him, not to mention, he plays in the East now.

  • Pau always does well in the EURO league because of 1) shorter seasons and 2) he seems to care more there unlike the teams that actually pay him to go out and play.

    As far as one of his best seasons…I guess? Lot of talent on that team to make it easier on him, not to mention, he plays in the East now.

  • Hey I’m not hating. I said he is smart. It’s crazy for anyone to think otherwise but Kobe was kinda raised in privilege thanks to his dad so he didn’t really learn the unspoken rules that many other NBA players learned growing up which is why he got into a lot of the issues he had.

  • Hey I’m not hating. I said he is smart. It’s crazy for anyone to think otherwise but Kobe was kinda raised in privilege thanks to his dad so he didn’t really learn the unspoken rules that many other NBA players learned growing up which is why he got into a lot of the issues he had.

  • You trying to send me to an early grave? Actually I wouldn’t mind having Pringles back because at least the games would be entertaining then. Who doesn’t love centers shooting 3’s? Anyway can you tell your best friend Al Saudi to stop stalking me.

  • You trying to send me to an early grave? Actually I wouldn’t mind having Pringles back because at least the games would be entertaining then. Who doesn’t love centers shooting 3’s? Anyway can you tell your best friend Al Saudi to stop stalking me.

  • Kobe will be fine. He will adjust his game accordingly. The guy can pass the ball with the best of them. I’ve seen it over and over. If he has to facilitate, he will!

  • Kobe will be fine. He will adjust his game accordingly. The guy can pass the ball with the best of them. I’ve seen it over and over. If he has to facilitate, he will!

  • Everybody’s somebody’s baby and everybody’s somebody’s fool…We all have to laugh at ourselves, sometimes, don’t we? I wish I could teach DP that.

  • Everybody’s somebody’s baby and everybody’s somebody’s fool…We all have to laugh at ourselves, sometimes, don’t we? I wish I could teach DP that.

  • He will go into business like Magic and MJ, no doubt in my mind. As far as having a weakness for the ladies, so do I. We all hope that is back under control.

  • He will go into business like Magic and MJ, no doubt in my mind. As far as having a weakness for the ladies, so do I. We all hope that is back under control.

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