Vanessa Bryant and Paul

Pau Gasol's daughter has changed his world.

The retired athlete, 41, lets audiences into his personal life with his upcoming documentary Pau Gasol: It's About the Journey. The four-episode project captures his decorated basketball career, both in the NBA and internationally, but also — for the first time — viewers get to see an intimate look at Gasol as a family man.

His introduction to fatherhood was in September 2020 with the birth of his first child Elisabet Gianna, whose middle name is a tribute to close friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The father-daughter pair died tragically in January 2020, along with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

"Obviously, the way the accident, the tragedy, [it] was an incredibly hard hit for a lot of people, especially for the ones that love Kobe and Gigi, and obviously, the family and friends of all the seven other victims," Gasol tells PEOPLE.

"It was hard, but while we were shooting and the camera crews were, it was like, that happened. And I also chose to express how I felt in that moment and how we were in Barcelona and we packed and we said, 'All right, let's go to L.A. We just feel like we need to be close to Vanessa and the girls and the city of L.A. and be there for whatever is needed.' That's what we did," he says.


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