The Lakers put out this tweet in honor of Gasol upon his retirement:
A hero in Los Angeles. A hoops legend around the world.
Congrats on your retirement, Pau. pic.twitter.com/ODzWHXgq94
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 5, 2021
Gasol spent the first chunk of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, but the Lakers made the big trade to get him during the 2007-08 season. His brother, Marc, went to the Grizzlies in that trade, and both players made their marks with their new teams over time.
Pau Gasol and the Lakers went to the NBA Finals in 2008, only to lose to the mighty Boston Celtics that year. Of course, Pau and the Lakers got their revenge the next two seasons, beating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals and then toppling the Celtics in 2010. Gasol played a huge role in those titles alongside Kobe Bryant.
Gasol played four more seasons in Los Angeles after that 2010 title before leaving for the Chicago Bulls in 2014. In his six-plus seasons with the Lakers, Pau won those two titles and went to three All-Star Games.
Gasol and Kobe became tight during those years, and Pau is still very close with Bryant’s family after his tragic death in January 2020.
Pau Gasol is a legend who deserves to have his No. 16 up in the Staples Center rafters.