Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol, who won three Western Conference titles and two NBA championships with the team during his six-year tenure in purple and gold, told the Los Angeles Times that he couldn't speak to anyone for days following the death of ex-Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash.
Gasol said he and his wife, Catherine McDonnell, were coming home from a basketball game north of Barcelona when McDonnell heard news from a friend that Bryant had died.
After getting home, Gasol recalled the moments that followed.
"I just started crying, it was hard to find words, I couldn't talk to anyone for days," Gasol said. "The only person I talked to was [Lakers vice president of basketball operations and Bryant's ex-agent Rob Pelinka]."
Gasol, who called Bryant his "brother," played with the 18-time All-Star from 2008-2014 after a midseason trade sent him from the Memphis Grizzlies to L.A.
Bryant and Gasol teamed up and led the Lakers to their first NBA Finals in four years, losing to the Boston Celtics in six games.
The two would guide L.A. to back-to-back titles, however, defeating the Orlando Magic and C's in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Gasol and Bryant were also opponents in the Summer Olympics gold medal men's basketball games in 2008 and 2012, with the United States beating Spain both times.
Following Bryant's death, Gasol called Bryant his "big brother" on Twitter:
Bryant was one of nine people who died in the crash.
Bryant's daughter, Gianna; Ara Zobayan; John Altobelli; Keri Altobelli; Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah Chester; Payton Chester and Christina Mauser also died.