Lakers plan to retire Pau Gasol’s jersey

Pau Gasol announced his retirement from professional basketball and the Los Angeles Lakers will retire his No. 16 jersey. 

On Tuesday, Pau Gasol officially announced his retirement from professional basketball. He spent 19 seasons in the NBA, from being drafted in 2001 by the Atlanta Hawks and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, to playing in his last competitive game with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019. Pau signed to play with FC Barcelona in February following his recovery from a stress fracture in his left foot that kept him out of commission in the United States.

Gasol won two NBA championships during his seven-year stint in Los Angeles in back-to-back seasons in 2009 and 2010.

Los Angeles Lakers will retire Pau Gasol’s jersey

Minutes after Pau retired, the Lakers announced news of their own.

In the 429 games that Gasol played in for Los Angeles, he started 422 of those. Pau averaged 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists during his tenure in gold and purple.

Gasol played out of his mind in the 2010 NBA Finals and was an MVP candidate after averaging 18.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists during the seven-game series. However, Kobe Bryant captured the NBA Finals MVP title in both 2009 and 2010.

Pau paid homage to his late teammate and good friend Bryant during his retirement speech. Now Gasol’s jersey will be a permanent fixture in the Staples Center beside Kobe’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys.

Bryant won’t get to be there in person, but his presence will be felt. Pau is officially a Los Angeles Laker for life.

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