Future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol officially announced his retirement on Tuesday. While doing so, Gasol had to give a special shoutout to fellow Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Gasol and Bryant won two championships with the Lakers and became very close over the years. Like so many others, Gasol was devastated by Kobe's tragic death in January 2020, and the big man is still like family to Bryant's wife and daughters. Pau had to give Kobe his props on Tuesday:
Pau Gasol: I want to make a special mention to Kobe Bryant. I'd very much like him to be here but life is sometimes very unfair. He taught me how to be a better leader, better competitor, what it meant to be a winner. pic.twitter.com/hnSRLwzr05
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) October 5, 2021
Pau Gasol spent six-plus seasons with the Lakers after getting traded from the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2007-08 season. He made three All-Star Games with the Lakers in addition to winning those two championships, and he's going to get his No. 16 jersey retired by the franchise.
In all, Gasol played in 18 seasons in the NBA from 2001-02 to 2018-19. A foot injury kept him from playing in the 2019-20 season, and he ultimately took his talents back to Spain to play again. He just finished up his playing career by playing for Spain one last time alongside his brother, Marc, in the Tokyo Olympics.
Gasol made six All-Star Games in total during his illustrious NBA career, with his last two coming with the Chicago Bulls after leaving Los Angeles. He has a number of international accolades as well while playing for Spain, including two Olympic silver medals, three EuroBasket gold medals and a FIBA World Championship gold medal.
Salute to Pau Gasol on a great career!