Kobe Bryant hints at Pau Gasol’s jersey being retired with Lakers
During their 6.5 seasons together with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol won two championships in three consecutive NBA Finals appearances. As Bryant’s No. 8 and 24 jerseys were recently retired, Gasol is averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in his second season with the San Antonio Spurs.
With the Lakers and Spurs facing off for the first time during the 2017-18 NBA season, some are wondering if Gasol’s No. 16 jersey will hang in the Staples Center rafters once he retires. Bryant revealed his thoughts on Twitter:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 11, 2018
While there are debates about Gasol’s place in basketball history, his accomplishments in the NBA as well as internationally give him a 93.35 percent chance of making it into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame according to Basketball Reference. As a result, it appears he will be next in line to have his jersey retired by the Lakers one day.
During Gasol’s time with the Lakers, the first half was highlighted by championships while the second half was highlighted by trade rumors. While this shift created some tension between him and some fans in the later seasons, Gasol remained professional even when he was originally traded for Chris Paul prior to the 2011-12 season.
After Gasol’s time in Los Angeles, he signed with the Chicago Bulls. As it unfortunately did not work out with the Bulls in two seasons, the 37-year-old is still playing at a high level with the Spurs. While all the attention has been on the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio will always pose a threat as Gasol searches for his third championship.