Throughout the 2000s, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs had their fair share of battles both in the regular season and playoffs.
Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan led their respective franchises, but both had their All-Star teammates alongside them during their competitive matchups. Duncan had a strong supporting cast throughout his career, with players like Manu Ginobili acting as the difference maker in a lot of games.
After a lull in the middle of the decade, Los Angeles rose to prominence once again when they managed to trade for Pau Gasol. With Gasol in tow, the Lakers managed to take the edge against the Spurs and win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
While Gasol and Ginobili played their part in the rivalry, the former congratulated the latter on his recent enshrinement to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, via his Twitter account:
What an emotional and well-deserved moment 👏 It was a huge honor to share the court with you, Manu. You are the best example for all of us who love basketball, as well as a great person. Muchísimas felicidades, querido amigo!!!! 🙌 https://t.co/R0DcrK3Rth
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) September 11, 2022
Ginobili was part of a list of inductees that included Tim Hardaway, Swin Cash, George Karl and Del Harris, among others. This was the first year Ginobili was eligible for the Hall of Fame after he announced his retirement in 2018, and it’s well-deserved after a successful NBA and international career.
The lefty guard was originally a Spurs second-round pick in 1999 who didn’t make his NBA debut until the 2002-03 season. He would become a critical piece in four San Antonio championships and in the process was named to the All-Star team twice. However, his greatest achievement is arguably his performance in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens where he led Argentina to its first basketball gold medal.
Gasol and Ginobili are two of the greatest international players to play in the NBA and it’s clear the two have respect and admiration for each other. Like Ginobili, Gasol should hear his name announced to the Hall of Fame sometime in the near future.
Pau Gasol thankful and honored after Lakers jersey retirement announcement
Gasol was a pillar for the Lakers for several years, making multiple All-Star teams en route to two championships. The franchise did him right by announcing they were going to retire his jersey, and the big man expressed his gratitude for the gesture.
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