Los Angeles Lakers legend Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement is fast approaching as the second half of the season is almost underway. Gasol’s No. 16 jersey will raise in the rafters on March 7 when the Lakers face off against Gasol’s former team, the Memphis Grizzlies.
The big man had an iconic career with the purple and gold after being acquired in February 2008. He played a key role in the Lakers’ championships in 2009 and 2010. Gasol averaged 18 points during the 2009 title run and 19 a game in the 2010 run.
With NBA All-Star weekend coming up, Gasol will also find out if he’ll be enshrined in the 2023 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. It’s the first time he is eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and likely the last — Gasol has a 93.35% chance of being inducted, according to Basketball Reference.
It’ll be an especially busy All-Star weekend for Gasol. He recently shared on Twitter that he’ll be a coach in the Rising Stars Challenge:
Coaching in the @NBAAllStar Rising Stars will be an absolute honor! Thanks to the @NBA for making it possible 🙏🏻 See you in Salt Lake City!
Ser entrenador en el Rising Stars será todo un honor! Gracias a la NBA por hacerlo posible 🙏🏻 Nos vemos en Salt Lake City! pic.twitter.com/RV59DvWMsb
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 31, 2023
Gasol, a six-time All-Star, has never coached in the event and will be coaching against former two-time All-Star Joakim Noah. The two were also teammates for two years in Chicago. Deron Williams and Jason Terry will also be coaching one of the teams.
Then known as the rookie and sophomores game, Gasol played in the 2002 and 2003 games. He was named Rookie of the Year and selected to the All-Rookie team in 2002.
Gasol will have a chance to interact with Lakers rookie Scotty Pippen Jr., who is part of select players from the G League. Pippen Jr. has spent most of this season with the Lakers G League team but has appeared in six games for the Lakers.
Rookie Max Christie was not selected to play in the Rising Stars game even though he’s received extended minutes in recent weeks. Christie put up a career-high 14 points in early January and played as much as 32 minutes in a game this season.
Though Gasol has never mentioned any intentions to become a coach, seeing him on the sidelines will be a welcome sight for Lakers fans. Hopefully, it can come on the cusp of a Hall of Fame induction.
Anthony Davis admits he’s still getting his rhythm back
Since returning from a stress injury in his right foot, Anthony Davis is averaging 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Davis missed just over a month with the injury.
Though he’s put up some solid numbers, Davis admitted it will take some time for him to gets where he wants to be.
“I feel good. It’s gonna always take time. I was out five and a half weeks. Even though I played well, I’m starting to get my rhythm back, it’ll still get some time to get back to where I wanna be, where I was,” he said. “As long as we keep winning, none of that matters how I’m playing. It’s all about wins right now. Especially when we’re trying to chase guys to move up to the rankings.”
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