Pau Gasol Retires, Lakers Will Hang His Jersey

Two-time NBA champ Pau Gasol called it quits on a career that spanned more than two decades and two continents.

Gasol, 41, made the announcement Tuesday in Barcelona surrounded by former teammates and family members.

“I’m going to retire from professional basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s a difficult decision after so many years, but it’s a decision that I really thought over.”

The former Laker had already retired from international play after Spain lost to the US in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo games last summer.

Gasol’s career is littered with achievements.

The seven-footer played four seasons at FC Barcelona before entering the NBA and played in five Olympics for Spain over the course of his career.

Gasol won a world title with Spain in 2006, and Olympic silver medals in Beijing (2008) and London (2012), and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro (2016).

He was the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies, a six-time NBA All-Star, a four-time All-NBA Team, and won back-to-back titles with the Lakers in 2009-2010.

The lanky center/forward averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1,226 regular-season games.

Though Pau played for multiple teams, including the Grizzlies, Spurs, Bulls, Bucks, and signed with the Portland, he will be remembered most for his years playing alongside Kobe Bryant at Staples Center.

Gasol helped Bryant win two more titles after Shaquille O’Neal was traded from the team, solidifying Bryant’s ranking as one of if not the greatest Laker ever.

LA plans to show its thanks by retiring Gasol’s number 16 jersey, according to Shams Charania.

Gasol is just the 11th player in Laker’s history to receive the honor, joining the ranks of Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and more.

Gasol played his last NBA game with the Bucks in 2019.

He signed with the Portland Trail Blazers later that year but never suited up.

Gasol was recently elected to represent athletes with the International Olympic Committee.

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