Throughout 19 NBA seasons, five NBA championships, and countless fierce battles, Kobe Bryant has gone to war with a number of different teammates. In all of those years, two players stood out the most to Kobe Bryant as his favorite teammates ever.
According to KobeTeam.com, Kobe named Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol as his two favorite teammates of all-time at the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy:
There is two. [Shaq?] No it’s not Shaq. But I loved Shaq. Me and Shaq won the thing but I didn’t particularly like playing with him too much. [Laughs] It’s easy. It’s Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol.”
Kobe naming Fisher and Gasol as his favorite was pretty predictable as he has always been very close to both of them. While Shaq was surely the most talented of his teammates, the rift they had while playing together is well known and Bryant even pointed it out.
Kobe and Gasol were extremely close and even refer to each other as brothers. When Gasol left for the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2014, one of the reasons he said it was so difficult to leave was his relationship with Kobe.
Fisher is the only player who was around for all five of Kobe’s championships and was a co-captain in the later years. He was one of the players Kobe always trusted late in the game and Fisher usually came through when it mattered most.
This season Kobe has a whole new cast of teammates, most of which he hasn’t played any significant time with. He will be looking to lead the young Lakers in his 20th season, and hopefully they will be able to surprise the rest of the league.