The Los Angeles Lakers set March 7, 2023, aside to honor club legend, Pau Gasol. Before halftime of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the six-time All-Star will have his number 16 jersey retired. At halftime of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers honored Pau Gasol by retiring his jersey. It was an emotional event, with few dry eyes in the building. After witnessing his jersey presented beside the late, great Kobe Bryant’s, Gasol expressed his gratitude to the icon. His statements caused the audience to chant Kobe’s name.
Gasol (42) retired in 2021 after winning two championships with the Lakers (2009, 2010) alongside close buddy Kobe Bryant. They played admirably under the direction of Phil Jackson, probably the finest coach in NBA history. Gasol began his career with the Lakers in 2008 and left in 2014. Yet he was never truly gone. His home is the Lakers, where he grew to unprecedented heights. He spoke with AS ahead of the event in which his number 16 Lakers jersey will be retired.
Pau Gasol joined the Lakers in 2008
In February 2008, Pau Gasol arrived at his hotel in Washington, DC around 1:30 a.m. to join his new squad, the Los Angeles Lakers. The squad was on the road, but Gasol was eager to join the team he’d just been moved to from Memphis.
Kobe Bryant was in the midst of an MVP season and had finally found an All-Star teammate with whom he could compete for a title since Shaquille O’Neal was moved to the Miami Heat in 2004. Kobe was so eager that he informed Gasol he’d come to his hotel room to greet him, despite the fact that Gasol indicated he wouldn’t arrive until 1:30.
Bryant welcomed him to the squad quickly, but only after a few seconds of meeting him. He ended his greeting by declaring it was time to win the title. Gasol responded to the occasion and was instrumental in the Lakers’ back-to-back victories, appearing in three Finals, which is why his No. 16 jersey will hang in the rafters beside Kobe’s jerseys, eternally enshrined in Laker legend.