Jeanie Buss: Lakers Don’t Win 2009 & 2010 NBA Championships Without Pau Gasol
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most important transactions of the 21st century for the Los Angeles Lakers was the deal that landed them soon-to-be Hall of Fame big man Pau Gasol at the trade deadline in 2008. He was brought in from the Memphis Grizzlies to be the Robin to Kobe Bryant’s Batman.

The Lakers would make the NBA Finals each of the next three seasons, winning championships in 2009 and 2010 behind Bryant and Gasol’s one-two punch. Gasol would go on to become a major part of the Lakers family alongside Bryant, Jeanie Buss and the entire organization. His jersey was retired earlier in 2023.

Buss, who was not in charge of the team at the time of Gasol’s L.A. stint, still understands his impact on the franchise. She spoke about what he means to L.A., according to Jesús Sánchez of Marca.com:

“Without Pau there would have been no NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. That’s for sure. Lakers fans agree with that. Pau was the difference maker we needed to get the Lakers back to glory.”

Buss also took the opportunity to celebrate Gasol’s achievement of being elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, where he’ll be inducted later this year:

“Every Lakers player whose number and jersey have been retired is now part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Pau’s career has earned him the honour of being inducted alongside so many Lakers legends. There’s no doubt about it. He is among them.”

The Lakers have always been known as an organization that treats their stars well. Gasol is no stranger to that preferential treatment, as he has been around for nearly every major event in the franchise since he left.

One of the greatest players in franchise history will soon become a part of NBA lore when he enters the Hall of Fame.

Dwight Howard interested in joining Kings

Moving from one Lakers center to another, Dwight Howard recently revealed that he has not retired from the NBA despite not playing for a team this season and spending most of the year in a new Taiwanese league.

He added that, if he could choose his team in the NBA, he would want to play for the Sacramento Kings and help them reach their next level of contention after a surprise playoff berth in 2023. Howard has not received any rumored interest from teams yet, but could in the months leading up to the 2023-24 season.

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