I feel like this story should start “Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol walk into a bar…”
But in reality they were walking into a charity event, and it’s not a joke. Kobe and Gasol have partnered up as part owners of a race horse. Here is the story from the Associated Press:
Bryant and Gasol bid against each other for an ownership stake in a 4-year-old gelding named Siempre Mio as part of a Lakers Foundation fundraiser at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday night.
“Pao Gasol bid first, but then he and Kobe got into a little bit of a bidding war. Kobe won the bidding at $8,000,” Doug O’Neill, who trains the gelding, said Wednesday.
(Santa Anita Park CEO Mark) Verge then offered Gasol a chance to buy a 25 percent interest in the horse in exchange for a donation to the Lakers Foundation. Part of the deal was that the new owners pay no expenses in the horse’s care and training.
Yes, it’s a gelding. Make your own “it runs like Gasol plays” jokes, I’m not spending time on it.
Getting out of having to pay the care and training costs is key — those costs eat horse owners alive. It’s expensive. Siempre Mio could win some money for the Lakers (as if they need more), the horse has two wins and a second in five career starts.
The real reason they did this? It gives them something to talk to former horse trainer Jim Buss about.