Exclusive: Pau Gasol opens up about jersey retirement, LeBron James’ Lakers
During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, big man Pau Gasol won two NBA titles and cemented a lasting bond with Kobe Bryant. Gasol became part of an elite one-two punch with Bryant and as a result, could see his No. 16 jersey hanging in the rafters along with his former teammate one day.
In the meantime, Gasol is contemplating his future in the NBA during this quarantine period in which the league is on hold and the world tries to get through the coronavirus pandemic that has turned everyone’s life upside down. As he considers his options, Gasol took some time to speak with ClutchPoints about the possibility of having his jersey retired by the Lakers.
“It will be an honor if it does happen,” Gasol said of his potential jersey retirement. “It would be a privilege to be in that group. It means a lot to me that the fans would like to see that. It will be beyond my dreams to be able to experience that.”
You can hear snippets from Pau Gasol’s interview with ClutchPoints on the latest episode of the Battle for LA Podcast.
Gasol also shared his thoughts on the current Lakers squad led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The veteran believes that if play resumes this season, Los Angeles has a great chance to win it all with a lot of players on the team who have championship experience.
“They have as good of a chance as anyone,” Gasol told ClutchPoints. “I think they’re in a position to do that or they were if things kind of resume at some point. But they have some competition. It’s not a given. They are going to have to earn it like any other champion.
“What they’re doing right now through this time of confinement and shelter-in-place will affect their chances if that were to happen. That’s very important to the physical and mental factor of what the team is doing through this process from the coaches to the players and management and so forth. It’s very important to be prepared and have that edge. The Clippers and the Nuggets I think are the two that probably their biggest competitors in the West. They also see it as a shot.
“The experience that they have in the playoffs with LeBron’s Finals experience gives them the edge. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to see that.”
Only time will tell if the NBA can somehow get the season back underway. If so, the Lakers will definitely be a team to watch with LeBron pursuing a fourth title and the franchise aiming to win its first title since Gasol and Bryant led the team to back-to-back titles a decade ago.
Along with talking about the current Lakers squad and his potential jersey retirement, Gasol opened up about his relationship with Bryant as well as the franchise’s back-to-back titles he won with the team, which we will soon feature in our 10th-anniversary series.