Two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol gets his jersey retired by the LA Lakers, 12th player in team history to receive that honor
Even with LeBron James out at the moment, the LA Lakers are finding ways to keep their season alive. With a 112-103 win vs the Memphis last night the team is 32-34 so far this season and have moved up to fourth in the West. A few weeks ago they were at 13th and have slowly been climbing. At halftime yesterday, the Lakers honored one of their all-time greats by retiring his jersey. Paul Gasol’s #16 now hangs in the rafters next to the late great Kobe Bryant.
The two-time NBA champ played seven seasons with the LA Lakers where he helped bring back-to-back titles in ’09 and ’10. He was traded to the team in the middle of the 2007-08 season and the rest was history after that. Gasol was the perfect complementary player for Kobe and he pushed him to be legendary.
At ninth in the West after a win vs Memphis last night, California Sports Betting sites have the Lakers at (+2200) to win the Finals this season.
The @Lakers officially unveil @paugasol's No. 16 in the rafters 👏 pic.twitter.com/tqPJi3zmXc
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 8, 2023
Pau Gasol is the 12th player in Lakers history to have their jersey retired
The 42 year old Laker legend was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2001 NBA draft and that’s ironically who LA faced off against last night. Everything truly does come full-circle in the end. In seven seasons with the Lakers he averaged (17.7) points, (9.9) rebounds, (3.5) assists, and (1.4) blocks per game.
He is a six-time all-star and earned three straight selections with LA from 2009-2011. On top of that he scored over 20,000 career points and have more than 11.000 career rebounds as well. Along with getting his jersey retired last night, he was also named a finalist to be inducted into Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame later on this year.
Pau Gasol's full jersey retirement ceremony speech 💜💛#GraciasPau pic.twitter.com/RDIN0M3rzw
— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2023
Gasol was extremely close on and off the court with his late great teammate, Kobe Bryant. The two brought out the best in each other and that’s why they were such a successful duo on the court. When Bryant and his daughter Gigi tragically died 2020, the Laker legend has grown even closer with Kobe’s wife Vanessa. He had this to say about his relationship with Kobe.
“When you’re around a player or a person of that caliber that demands excellence of himself and everybody else, I think that’s something that you want to be around,”… “What I tried to do was complement him, provide as much as he needed and the team needed at the time. I had to evolve as a player to be better in order to be that second great player on our team. I put my mind and effort and heart into it to do that. I think, looking back, three straight Finals, it’s not easy to do.” – Pau Gasol
A video was resurfacing over the last few days of Kobe speaking a while back on how Pau Gasol’s jersey would be sitting next to his in the rafters some day. Bryant said he wouldn’t have won those last two championships if it weren’t for Gasol. Now, Kobe’s vision has become a reality.
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