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#pounditTuesday, August 3, 2021

Kobe Bryant used Olympic gold medal as motivational tool for Pau Gasol

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was famous for having his “Mamba Mentality” approach to attacking life. He once used that mentality on his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate, Pau Gasol.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was a guest on the “All The Smoke” show last week. She said in the interview that after the United States beat Spain to win the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, Kobe hung his gold medal in Pau’s Lakers locker.

Gasol confirmed the story and didn’t seem to mind. He even threw in a goat emoji, to signify that Bryant is the “Greatest of All Time.”

Few things would probably motivate someone more than seeing a reminder of the trophy they beat you out for.

To place things in context, the Lakers had just acquired Gasol in a trade with Memphis in February. They lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals that year. He and Bryant had only been teammates for 27 regular season games when Bryant did that.

The Olympics took place in August, six months after the trade. The Lakers then went out and won back-to-back championships under Bryant and Gasol’s play and leadership.

Some people might have taken a gesture like that the wrong way, but it might have brought out the best in Gasol. Back in 2016, Bryant shared his side of the story.


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