As has been very evident at times on and off the floor, these two teammates connect on a level that goes deeper than wearing the same colors in the line of battle.
Gasol, who recently authored a book called Life-Vida, written in both English and Spanish, had the Black Mamba write one of the forewords for the publication.
Serena Winters of Lakers Nation passes along some detail, as well as an excerpt of Kobe's work.
There are three forewords in the book, each written by someone who has entered Gasol’s small, but powerful inner circle: former NBA coach and NBA champion, Phil Jackson, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, and silver Olympic medalist, Juan Carlos Navarro. Each gives a tremendous testament to not only what an incredible individual Gasol is, but also to how Gasol has impacted each of their lives.
Makes sense, right?
Kobe's bond with Gasol is well-documented, while Navarro has played closely with Gasol in international competition and Jackson coached the big man to two titles in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
Kobe opens up in his foreword, titled "If I Could Choose My Brother," again via Winters:
If I could choose my brother today, he would possess qualities that would make him a great leader: calm in the face of a storm; controlled in the throes of confusion. He would be level-headed in his actions and understanding in his judgment. Like me, he would play in the NBA.
If his organization ever let him down, he would hold his head up high. He would come to work every day, and continue to put in his best effort. He would not lash out or let himself become entangled in drama. He would not let it change him.
Our bond would be fortified by a trust only brothers share.
I would be proud of my brother; I’d tell him to write a great book. And I would be honored to write the foreword.
Kobe absolutely adores Gasol like family and it's blatantly obvious to anyone who has watched the two grow together since their initial pairing.
Gasol has been subject to trade rumors in the past, but Kobe has been very vocal about how he feels regarding keeping his "brother" on the team.
It's not easy to find a player who is able to gel with a star of Kobe's caliber, and the fact that Kobe has no hesitation in calling Gasol his brother is something that Lakers fans should appreciate.
As Kobe would say, "different animal, same beast."