The energy in Crypto.com Arena was electric on Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers managed to come up with a huge victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
It was a back-and-forth affair throughout the night as the two teams battled for any sort of momentum. However, the Lakers were able to wrestle the game away in the final minutes to pick up another impressive victory. The win was important because it gave them sole possession of the No. 9 seed for the time being.
However, it was also a special night for the organization as they immortalized Pau Gasol by retiring his No. 16 jersey at halftime.
After the Lakers acquired Gasol from the Grizzlies in 2007, he became the missing piece for a team that won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Gasol is the latest legendary member of the franchise to haver his name and number put up in the rafters, and his family and teammates were all on hand to watch it happen.
Gasol was overwhelmed with emotion prior to the ceremony as the purple and gold showed tribute videos before the half. Things got even more teary-eyed when he took center court to address the fans with a heartfelt speech where he thanked Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, his former teammates, his family and everyone else affiliated with the franchise.
The Spaniard deserved the moment as he was instrumental in helping turn the franchise around at a time when they were starving for success. Alongside Bryant, Gasol was a driving force behind their three NBA Finals appearances that culminated with two titles. As such, it’s only fitting that Gasol’s jersey hangs next to Bryant’s forever.
It was also a nice touch for Los Angeles to retire Gasol’s jersey on a night they were playing his former team in Memphis. Gasol was a superstar for both franchises and fans of each team can appreciate what he did for them during his playing days.
Pau Gasol still processing getting jersey retired by Lakers
Gasol has a sterling reputation for his contributions both on and off the floor, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that he would see his jersey retired someday. However, the former Lakers All-Star admitted that he is struggling to process such an amazing honor.
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