Kobe Bryant's wife, kids share a sweet bond with their dad's former teammate Pau Gasol

Gasol, who is about to become a dad for the first time with wife Cat McDonnell, is known as 'Uncle Pau' to Bryant's kids.
Bryant and Gasol both regularly referred to each other as "brothers."
Bryant and Gasol both regularly referred to each other as "brothers."@vanessabryant / Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol won championships together when they played for the Los Angeles Lakers, but they also forged a deep bond off the basketball court that went beyond just being teammates.

Bryant and Gasol both regularly referred to each other as "brothers."

In the seven months since Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash, Gasol and his wife, Cat McDonnell, have stayed close to the Bryant family, treating Vanessa Bryant like a sister and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri Kobe, 1 as nieces.

On Friday, Vanessa Bryant and Gasol shared heartwarming photos on social media showing the family spending time together on a boat in San Francisco.

"My wife, my future baby, my sister and my nieces. So much beauty in one picture," Gasol captioned a photo of Bryant, her three girls and McDonnell, who is pregnant with the couple's first child. He added the hashtag #family.

Bryant shared an adorable photo of Gasol, 40, who most recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks, smiling back at Bianka as they cruised around the bay. She included the hashtags #brother #family #Bianka and tagged #uncle Pau Gasol.

"Such a special day!" Gasol replied.

Plenty of fans also commented that the basketball star was definitely ready for fatherhood.

Bryant shared another photo of her, Natalia and #Auntie Cat McDonnell with the picturesque Golden Gate Bridge in the background. The three women were all smiles and seemed to be enjoying their quality time together on the water.

The fun continued after their day on the water.

McDonnell shared a group photo of the family when they were back on land. All of the girls wore matching light pink sweatshirts, while Gasol coordinated with a dark pink Nike t-shirt.

"Love you familia," wrote the mom-to-be.

"Awe! Love you back," Bryant replied.

Gasol has been there every step of the way for Bryant's wife and kids, whether it's sending Vanessa Bryant flowers on the first wedding anniversary without her husband to stopping by for a play date with his nieces.

On the basketball star's 40th birthday, Bryant shared a candid photo of the 7-foot-1 Gasol sitting in a kid-sized chair and playing with Bianka.

"Happy 40th birthday uncle Pau! We ❤️you. Love, The Bryant Girls," she wrote. "I know Kobe would say,”Happy 40th birthday Pablo! Love you, Hermano”.