— He fell off the All-Star radar as he drifted further and further from the basket in
"Pau's been playing like Pau. It's phenomenal,"
It wasn't easy last July, but Bryant said he ultimately supported Gasol in his decision to take substantially less money to join the
"He's a part of this franchise. It's tough for him to go and kind of leave what he's helped build," Bryant said. "And it was tough for me to see him go."
To which Bryant replied, "I would have tried to win a couple with
That would have been … entertaining.
Gasol, 34, had 23 points and 13 rebounds in the Bulls' 113-93 victory Thursday. He had three assists and two blocked shots, looking very much like the Gasol who won two championships in three
This being Chicago, reporters were eager to talk to Bryant about passing Michael Jordan for third place on the
Bryant even revealed what Jordan told him in a conversation after it happened last week.
"Go get Karl," Bryant said. He trails
"The competitor never stops," Bryant said while elaborating on Jordan's revelation. "He's always thinking the next challenge."
Bryant was comfortably ahead of third-place
Bryant's lead of 185,000 votes puts him on pace for a 17th appearance in the All-Star game, to be held Feb. 15 in New York.
Golden State's Stephen Curry leads West guards with 549,095 votes.
Jeremy Lin is ninth among West guards (77,276 votes) and Nick Young is 13th in the West for frontcourt players (32,050 votes).
Gasol is ahead of Miami's