Pau Gasol announces retirement from basketball

Pau Gasol
(Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol announced his retirement from basketball on Tuesday after a pro career that spanned a remarkable 24 years.

Gasol spent six and a half seasons with the Lakers, winning two championships alongside Kobe Bryant while being named to three NBA All-Star teams. Gasol’s trade to the Lakers was the missing piece for a Lakers team that went to three straight NBA Finals immediately after his arrival.

Pau most recently played for FC Barcelona in his native Spain, where he started his professional career in 1998 as an 18-year-old. He also represented Spain at the Tokyo Olympics alongside his brother, Marc.

Gasol’s decorated career saw him regarded as one of the most skilled big men ever in an era before the small ball takeover. His flashy passing and solid jump shooting were foils to his prowess in the low post. His play against two of the best big men of their generations in Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett were major reasons for the Lakers’ title wins in 2009 and 2010, something Bryant acknowledged after his own retirement:

Above all, Pau Gasol was a stellar teammate, capable of matching Bryant’s famed intensity while adding his soft touch as a sort of liaison between the superstar and the rest of the team. Gasol treated Kobe and others as his brothers and showed that love both on and off the court, keeping the special bond that fans can look back to for years to come.

Congratulations on a magnificent career, Pau. See you back at STAPLES Center for the jersey retirement.

Leave a Reply