Pau Gasol retires, Lakers reportedly planning to hang up No. 16

Published October 6, 2021, 6:00 AMNBA.com News Services

Pau Gasol retired from basketball on Tuesday and is expected to soon have his jersey retired by the Lakers.

Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol is expected to soon join the ranks of franchise immortals as the team reportedly plans to retire his jersey. Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group and Shams Charania of The Athletic both report the news in the wake of Gasol announcing his retirement from basketball earlier on Tuesday.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement:

“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, Paul inspired countless fans through his remarkable skill and passion for the game. 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 make a priority. We congratulate Pau on an outstanding career and thank him for being such a dedicated ambassador for our league.”

He announced his retirement from basketball on Tuesday, ending a career that lasted more than two decades and earned him two NBA titles and a world championship gold with Spain’s national team.

In having his No. 16 retired by the Lakers, Gasol would become the 11th player to receive that honor and the first since Kobe Bryant had his Nos. 8 and 24 retired in 2017. The other numbers retired by the Lakers: Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Elgin Baylor (No. 22), Gail Goodrich (No. 25), Magic Johnson (No. 32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (No. 33), Shaquille O’Neal (No. 34), James Worthy (No. 42), Jerry West (No. 44) and Jamaal Wilkes (No. 52).

Gasol was acquired by the Lakers at the trade deadline in 2008 in a deal that saw the Memphis Grizzlies send him and a second-round pick to L.A. for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, Aaron McKie and two future first-round picks.

The 41-year-old Gasol had already announced his farewell from international basketball in August after Spain lost to the United States in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Games, which marked his fifth Olympics.

Gasol had been with Spanish club Barcelona since February. His career had stalled before that because a left-foot stress fracture that lingered and kept him from playing for nearly two years.

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

Gasol won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, in 2009 and 2010, while averaging 17 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1,226 regular-season games with five NBA teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He was the No. 3 pick in the 2001 NBA draft, being selected by Atlanta and traded to Memphis.

Gasol last played in the NBA with the Bucks in 2019. He signed with the Portland Trail Blazers that year but never got to play.

Gasol won a world championship title with Spain in 2006, in addition to European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.