Recent rumors suggest Pau Gasol will announce his retirement from the game of basketball next week. The Spaniard legend had a terrific career in the NBA and European basketball, collecting several honors.
With these rumors circling on the internet, people started wondering if the Los Angeles Lakers would retire Gasol's jersey once he finishes his professional career.
This would be a great gesture from the Lakers. Gasol helped Kobe Bryant win the 15th and 16th NBA championship for Los Angeles, creating a terrific duo with the late Lakers legend. Kobe made a case for Pau back in the day, saying he should get his jersey in the rafters next to his numbers 8 and 24.
Via Hoops Hall:
“There’s no debating. When [Pau] retires, he will have his number in the rafters next to mine. The reality is, I don’t win those championships without Pau. The city of LA doesn’t have those two championships without Pau. We know that, everybody knows that. I really look forward to the day when he’s there giving his speech at center court in front of all the fans.”
Gasol had reacted to these comments, saying he appreciated Kobe for supporting him. They were really good teammates and better friends, with Bryant always showing his respect for the big man.
“Happy and appreciative... We’ll see. But it’s definitely special to see how much he acknowledged me and appreciated me. And even when I watched the re-run for the first time, probably a month ago, of the game 7 of the 2010 Finals, I didn’t hear his speech, so I didn’t hear his words, how he said ‘hey, where’s the Spaniard?’ and ‘I can’t say enough about how much he’s done, or how we’ll he’s played, an incredible player.’ I didn’t hear any of that, so it was extremely emotional for me to see that, and to appreciate those moments. It’s unfortunate what has happened, but it is what it is. But he’ll be always present with me, and with all of us.”
After winning two titles with the Lakers and having a terrific NBA career, Gasol should get his jersey retired. With the greatest Laker of all-time backing him up, the purple and gold should take a look at this option.