Pau Gasol had his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The ceremony was held before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies. In doing so Pau could see his No.16 jersey being retired next to his dear friend and brother, Kobe Bryant. The bond between Pau and Kobe was incredible and were almost like brothers. Kobe held high regard for Pau, and one of the reasons, Pau is still seen around with Kobe’s family and supporting his little girls.
The Spanish international entered the NBA in 2001 when the Atlanta Hawks drafted him as No.3 overall. However, his trade to the Memphis Grizzlies saw him play for the Tenessee-based team for 7 years. Pau joined forces with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in 2008, where his bond with Kobe started blossoming. Pau won 2 championships alongside Kobe in succession in 2009 and 2010.
Gasol played his last season in his home country, Spain. He played for FC Barcelona, after which he announced his retirement. He dominated the Euroleague and will go down as one of the best players in Europe and in the NBA as his jersey is immortalized by the Lakers.
How well did Pau Gasol fare in the NBA?
Pau Gasol joined the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. However, he had an instant impact on the Grizzlies and outperformed his draft class to win the Rookie of the Year. He led the Grizzlies to 3 playoff runs in his 7 years with them and was a fan favorite. He took his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008, which included several players and draft picks.
His performances brought the Lakers to back him with Kobe to have a wonderful season. He eventually won his first NBA title with Kobe in 2009. Nonetheless, he contributed to the Lakers to add 2 NBA titles to the trophy cabinet. Pau ended his career averaging 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 1,226 games as a professional basketball player.