Usually, the honor of having a jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers franchise is reserved for players that are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Although it is a foregone conclusion that Pau Gasol will eventually be a Hall of Famer, the Lakers have chosen to retire No. 16 during the 2022-23 NBA season.
The Lakers revealed their intention to retire Gasol’s jersey on Wednesday while announcing the schedule for the upcoming season.
A Champion, legend, and forever part of the Lakers Family.
3/7/23 – We raise Pau Gasol's jersey into the rafters pic.twitter.com/F9snGrHO9o
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 17, 2022
After spending the first six and a half seasons of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol was traded to the Lakers in a blockbuster deal that immediately put the Purple and Gold back into title contention.
The seven-foot Spaniard quickly became part of a lethal one-two punch with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, leading to three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and two Larry O’Brien trophies added to the team’s collection.
As arguably one of the greatest international players to ever play the game, Gasol made a name for himself in the NBA, playing for five different teams while also leaving his mark overseas. The two-time NBA champion ended his career where it began, with FC Barcelona.
The veteran forward/center helped Barcelona win the ACB Championship in his final season on the court. He also helped lead the team to 2020-21 EuroLeague final but ultimately lost to the Anadolu Efes.
Despite not finishing his career with the Lakers, the six-time NBA All-Star is considered one of the greatest players to come through the franchise. That’s a powerful statement, considering the talented players that have worn Purple and Gold.
On March 7, the Lakers will host the Grizzlies in what will be an emotional day for Gasol and all of Lakers Nation.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!