A great figure for the Lakers at the end of the 2000s, Pau Gasol helped the Pourpres et Ors out of a difficult pass. He has just been rewarded for this by the franchise, which has given him great honor. Inevitably, the former interior had to react!
If he started his career with the Grizzlies for seven years, and he has known a total of five teams during his NBA career, Pau Gasol remains very often associated with the Lakers. It’s no coincidence: in the City of Angels, he shone individually with five All-Star Game selections, averaging nearly 18 points and 10 rebounds. Above all, he landed at the best of times in 2008, allowing the Californians to finally bounce back after the departure of Shaquille O’Neal a few seasons earlier.
With the Spaniard as Kobe Bryant’s main lieutenant, the Purples and Golds experienced an immediate resurgence, appearing in three consecutive Finals between 2008 and 2010 with a back-to-back at stake. More generally, the interior has remained engraved in the collective memories on site, and the franchise has therefore decided to honor it by removing its jersey with the number 16. The announcement has just been made via social networks, and the interested party obviously reacted immediately, being very happy about it:
Pau Gasol’s jersey retired by the Lakers
Beyond thankful and honored!!! 🙌🏼🙏🏼💜💛 #LakersFamily https://t.co/ZhLJgQSqIJ
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 17, 2022
LA Lakers : A champion, a legend, and forever a member of the Lakers family. On March 7, 2023, we will hang Pau Gasol’s jersey from the ceiling of our room.
Paul Gasol : I am beyond grateful and honored !!! #LakersFamily
Given the absolutely incredible history of the angelino franchise and the myriad of all-time players who have worn the colors, the feat is anything but small for the great rival of the Blues on the FIBA scene. The emotion will in any case be palpable on the evening of the event, and we are sure that the native of Barcelona will have a few words to say about the Mamba, having been very close to him and his family. On top of that, Vino gave the following speech a few years ago. A true prophecy:
Kobe Bryant on Pau Gasol getting his jersey retired in the Lakers rafters next to his #NBATwitter #LakeShow https://t.co/uJJPEXmRiI pic.twitter.com/zDWvK6IDhc
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) August 17, 2022
There is no debate. Pau, when he retires, will have his number withdrawn within a month. The reality is that I don’t see us winning these titles without Pau. I don’t see how we can win these two titles without Pau Gasol. We know it, everyone knows it. I look forward to the day when he will be there to give his speech on the center circle in front of all the fans who have supported him all these years. It’s going to be an awesome evening.
If Kobe Bryant’s prediction was a few years late, the late rear’s wish has still been granted, and Pau Gasol’s jersey will hang from the ceiling of the Crypto.com arena. The ceremony will be unmissable, especially since the ex-player will certainly pay tribute to his legendary teammate.