The Lakers will retire Pau Gasol’s jersey on March 7

We already know the date on which we will see the name of Pau Gasol on the roof of the Lakers court. It will be on March 7, 2023 when the Spanish basketball legend sees his shirt with the number ’16’ along with those of legends such as Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O’Neal and, of course, very close of his brother Kobe Bryant.

It will be an emotional night, one in which a lanky boy from Sant Boi –who made us vibrate with every minute on the parquet since he debuted in 2001–, will see the circle come full circle as a player of one of the most iconic teams on the planet. It will be a well-deserved night, one in which we will all remember our enthusiasm upon learning of his transfer to the Lakers, and even more so his three Finals. The one from 2008, the one we cried with him. Those of 2009 and 2010, the ones that made us explode with joy.

Pau came to some Lakers that needed him. Kobe was a huge player and he showed it every night, but that team led by Phil Jackson was missing something, it was missing Gasol. As he arrived he showed that he was a perfect fit. He instantly connected with The Black Mamba and from there arose a friendship that made them champions both on the track and off it.

In six and a half years wearing gold and purple, he played a total of 422 games to average 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.4 blocks; numbers to which must be added the 93 games he played in the playoffs with an average of 16.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 blocks.

There, at the Staples Center (now Arena) he spent the best years of his career both individually and collectively, since with the Lakers he was an All-Star three times (six in total) and won two rings so consecutive. The one he will receive at the gates of spring 2023 deserves a tribute.

(Photograph by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)



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