Pau Gasol Announces Retirement, Lakers Retirement No. 16 Jersey – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -Six times NBA All-Star Pau Gasol announced his pension from professional basketball on Tuesday at a press conference at an opera house in Barcelona. Gasol won back-to-back championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, as well as a gold medal with the Spanish national team in the 2006 FIBA ​​World Championship.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

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“Pau Gasol is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished players of his generation. A two-time NBA champion, six-time NBA All-Star, three-time Olympic medalist and world champion, Pau inspired countless fans through his remarkable skill and passion for the game, “said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement posted on Twitter. “But what sets Pau apart is his tireless commitment to giving back to his native Spain and other communities around the world, which he continues to prioritize. We congratulate Pau on an excellent career and thank him for being such a dedicated ambassador for our league. ”

Gasol was traded to the Lakers in February 2008 and had an immediate impact on helping the Lakers reach three consecutive NBA Finals.

“Pau Gasol brought hope and talent to the Lakers,” former coach Phil Jackson said in a statement to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “The effect was immediate. His game put LA back in championship conflict. He was also a gentleman and generous hero. ”

Gasol formed a special relationship with Kobe Bryant, who had previously struggled to get along with his former superstar teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

“I would like to mention Kobe Bryant in particular. I would very much like him to be here, but such is life, ”Gasol said during his press conference on retirement. “I had He taught me to be a better leader, a better competitor, what it means to be a winner.”

Gasol told of their close friendship after the tragic death of Bryant and his daughter Gianna in January 2020.

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(Photo by Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

“I miss you, hermano … not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do,” Gasol said. “Your spirit, your drive, your ambition, your love … continue to shine in my life and in many others.”

Gasol, 41, announced his retirement from international basketball in August after Spain lost to the United States in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. He rejoined Barcelona, ​​the club he played for as a teenager, before being selected No. 3 in 2001 in the NBA Draft, in February after not playing for nearly two years due to a left-footed stress fracture. .

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

Gasol is one of only four players in NBA history with more than 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss wasted no time in disclosing Twitter that “it was never a question of IF we retire [number] 16 but WHEN. Congratulations on your retirement @paugasol #StayTuned #LakersLove. ”

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Gasol will be the 11th player in franchise history to retire his jersey and the first since Kobe Bryant retired his No. 8 and No. 24 in 2017.

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