The Los Angeles Lakers have had incredible players during their rich and honored history, and some of them deserve a big homage from the team, yet not everybody has gotten it. One of those cases is the Spanish big man Pau Gasol, who helped Kobe Bryant become a 5x NBA champion in three trips to the Finals from 2008 through 2010.
Arguably the greatest Memphis Grizzlies player in history, Gasol landed in Los Angeles as part of the infamous trade that sent Kwame Brown away from Los Angeles, creating a terrific duo with Kobe Bryant from the very beginning. The Black Mamba knew he was getting a terrific partner, but wanted to keep Gasol in check from Day 1.
"From the very beginning he's like, 'Look, I'm very happy that you're here. Let's acknowledge that. I'm very excited you're here, but now let's go f***ing win a title. Let's go win a title. Let's go win this thing.'"
Many years after that great move, with Gasol out of the league, the Lakers have decided to give him the ultimate honor they can offer, retiring his jersey next year. A couple of weeks ago, the player commented on this, saying that the Lakers would do it at an undisclosed date.
In the wake of the 2022/23 season schedule release, the Lakers' official Twitter account revealed that they're retiring Pau's jersey in a ceremony scheduled for March 7th of 2023.
A Champion, legend, and forever part of the Lakers Family.
3/7/23 - We raise Pau Gasol's jersey into the rafters
Many people doubted the Lakers would make the decision, but they proved them wrong. After Pau landed in LA, the team was much better than before, and proof of that is their 3 consecutive trips to the championship series. Pau deserves this for everything he did for Kobe, for how he managed himself in LA, for being more than a teammate for the Black Mamba, and for helping put the Lakers back at the top of the league.
In 429 games at Staples Center, he posted 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, while winning two championships in three NBA Finals.