Lakers News: Pau Gasol Still Trying To Process ‘Huge Honor’ Of Getting Jersey Retired
Pau Gasol, Lakers
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers’ legacy of excellent big men stretches way back to the beginning of the franchise with George Mikan being the first NBA star when the team was still in Minneapolis. Since then, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal became legends in the purple and gold, and in the late 2000s, it was Pau Gasol who came in and changed the game as well.

With the legendary Kobe Bryant in need of a true co-star, the Lakers acquired Gasol in 2008 and went on to win back-to-back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010. And with everything he accomplished, Gasol is now set to his No. 16 rise in the rafters of the Arena.

Gasol recently spoke on the upcoming honor in an interview with Chris McGee of Spectrum SportsNet. The legendary Laker admitted that it is still hard for him to imagine but that he views this not just as a great reflection on himself, but on the teams he was on as well:

“It’s a lot to process to be honest, it’s hard to imagine it still as we’re getting closer and closer to the day. But it’s a huge honor. Just something that I’ve never envisioned, and something that is not just an honor to me, it’s an honor to my family, to my parents and I think to a lot of people. I think it’s a reflection obviously, of a great run that we had, that I was able to do my part. So it’s also an honor to the rest of my teammates, and my coaches and the staff that we had during those years.”

Many of those teammates will surely be in attendance on the night, but the one who won’t, the late, great Kobe Bryant, will undoubtedly be in the heart and mind of Gasol, who knows it will be emotional without him there:

“Overbearing. Hard to contain. I can only picture and imagine it. With a strong feeling that I would’ve loved for him to be there in person, not just in spirit. But it just adds another huge emotional component to it.”

The relationship between Kobe and Pau was a brotherhood and it is only fitting that Gasol’s No. 16 sits next to the 8 and 24 of his fallen friend.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss reflects on Pau Gasol’s impact ahead of jersey retirement

Gasol had an impact up and down the entire Lakers franchise and everyone has great memories of what he meant. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss reflected on the impact he had on the franchise.

Buss spoke about the franchise always knowing Gasol would be a Hall of Famer and thus, the franchise always knowing they would one day retire his jersey. Buss also called Gasol the Lakers’ first truly international star, calling him exactly what the franchise needed at that time.

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