Following the departure of Shaquille O’Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant found a new partner in the figure of Pau Gasol, who reached the second most successful franchise in the NBA (16, one ring less than the Boston Celtics) after standing out in Barcelona and the Memphis Grizzlies.
In dialogue with the program The resistance, the three-time medalist at the Olympic Games (silver in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and bronze Rio 2016) and world champion in Japan 2006 with the basketball team counted the nicknames he received during his stay in the Californian franchise. “It was El Hispano, for the movie ‘Gladiator’. They put the music from the movie and my images before games and the audience sang to me, ”recalled the former Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. However, it caught attention when it revealed that Kobe Bryant called him “Pablo” after the famous Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar.
“I am a calm, leisurely person. The peacemaker”. So, to get that flame out of me a little, my name was Pablo, because of Pablo Escobar ”, revealed the two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2009 against Orlando Magic and 2010 versus Boston Celtics). And then, he justified: “Not because I was a drug trafficker or had something to do with that world, but because of my murderous instinct, to conquer, to want to be one of the greats. To get that instinct and that strength, I compared myself with Pablo Escobar ”.
To close this topic, he added: “He wanted to spark the spark of his peers’ competitive ability. I wanted to take out the winning claw that he had in everyone. When we met the 2010 Celtics, we were prepared for that battle. He understood it as such and helped me to grow my level in those days ”.
Before the great commotion that originated around the planet due to the premiere of the documentary The Last Dance, Gasol recalled a crossroads before Michael Jordan: “I was super nervous. He was competing against his team, and he had to tap me because I had to compete and not admire him and stay there. It was a wonderful experience. I bumped into him. A dream, to have him hanging in your room to play against him ”.
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