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Pau Gasol honors Kobe and Gianna on one-year anniversary of their deaths

“Today, we honor and celebrate both of you, you have left us with so much,” he wrote.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol Getty Images

Pau Gasol is honoring his close friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant and the late NBA star’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant one year after they were tragically killed in a helicopter crash.

In an Instagram post, the two-time NBA Championship winner shared a throwback photo of Bryant with Gianna, along with a lengthy message about how life has been without them. “I miss you, hermano… not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do,” he wrote. “Your spirit, your drive, your ambition, your love… continues to shine in my life and in many others. Photos, videos, very special moments keep being shared by countless people that have admired you and loved you in their own way, reminding me how incredibly lucky I have been to share some of those moments with you.”

Gasol continued, “I hope you and Gigi are smiling down seeing how strong, sweet and amazing your girls are… they are growing so fast brother. I wish you could’ve met our little Elisabet Gianna. We will make sure she knows where her middle name comes from… how extraordinary, loving and inspiring her cousin Gigi and her uncle Kobe were. Today, we honor and celebrate both of you, you have left us with so much… but even if it isn’t how we would like things to be, you are, and always will be, in our hearts.”

The Spanish basketball player and Bryant became close friends during their time as teammates for the Los Angeles Lakers. Since the tragic crash, Gasol and his wife have been a source of support for Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters.

Last year, the Gasols sent a beautiful birthday cake to the Bryant residence to help them celebrate what would have been Gianna’s 14th birthday. Last April, they sent Vanessa a bouquet of red roses to celebrate her 19th wedding anniversary. Gasol and his wife also named their newborn daughter after Gianna.

Check out Gasol’s full post below.

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