Bryant, who sat out Tuesday night's 92-90 loss to the
"Pau's one of the best post players of all time," said Bryant.
Bryant and Gasol won two straight
The Lakers acquired Gasol in February 2008 in a trade with the
"He caught the ball and finished it -- I ran back to the bench and said, 'Yes Phil, we got a big that can catch and finish. We're going to the Finals!'"
The Lakers did advance all the way to the Finals in 2008, only to fall to the
"I've got a guy I can really scheme with, the rest of the guys can kind of fall in line from that. His intellect made him the most dangerous," said Bryant of his early reaction to playing with Gasol.
Eventually, the Lakers tried to trade Gasol to the
The deal was ultimately nixed by
Gasol finally left in the summer of 2014 as a free agent to play in Chicago.
"I think the city of L.A. didn't really appreciate what he did and, what we had," said Bryant. "As a consequence, everybody fell in line with the
D'Antoni coached the Lakers for most of two seasons before stepping down. He's now an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Without Gasol, the Lakers are just 9-38 on the season. The Bulls are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 25-19.