Pau Gasol
NBA legend Pau Gasol has announced his retirement. The 19-year NBA veteran was a six-time All-Star and won two titles with the Lakers. (Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

NBA Legend Pau Gasol Has Called it a Career

NBA legend Pau Gasol has called it a career, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. Gasol played 19 seasons in the NBA, winning two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, and earning six All-Star nods.

“I’m going to retire from professional basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s a difficult decision after so many years, but it’s a decision that I really thought over.”

VIA ESPN

The 41-year-old finished his career with the Spanish Olympic team after a quarterfinal loss to the United States this summer in Tokyo. He had been playing with Spanish club Barcelona since February, but felt that now was the time to step away from basketball.

Gasol last played in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019. He played for five teams in his career, including the aforementioned Lakers and Bucks, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. Over his career, he averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. The Lakers plan to retire his No. 16 jersey according to reports.

Gasol also took the time to mention longtime friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant, who passed in January of 2020 in a helicopter accident. While choking up, he spoke to the profound effect Bryant had on his life.

“I want to make a special mention to Kobe Bryant. I’d very much like him to be here but life is sometimes very unfair. He taught me how to be a better leader, better competitor, what it meant to be a winner.”

VIA Eurohoops/@Eurohoopsnet Twitter

Gasol is one of the greatest frontcourt players to have starred in the 21st century so far, and his legacy both on-and-off the court will continue to inspire generations of European hoopers for the decades to come.

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