Spurs’ Pau Gasol says it would be a ‘huge honor’ if Lakers retired his jersey
The Los Angeles Lakers recently retired both of Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys at the Staples Center adding the future Hall of Famer to a short list of players that have been given the honor by the storied franchise.
With Bryant being the last to receive the honor in Los Angeles, many have started to wonder which player might be next. The one real candidate right now appears to be Pau Gasol who is currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs and will face his former team on Thursday night back in L.A. Gasol would love it if his Jeanie Buss and company made his jersey the next one to be lifted into the rafters at the Staples Center, via Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News.
“It would be a huge honor without a doubt,” said Gasol. “We had some unbelievable years with a great team, top to bottom. It’s not something I think about, but if it ever happened, it would be a tremendous honor to join the Lakers greatest players that ever played. It would be huge.”
Although Gasol would admittedly be honored if the Lakers retired his jersey once his career is over, the Spanish star isn’t expecting it to happen, via Young.
“It’s not something that I expect. It’s not something that I think I have done enough for. It would be an honor, and it would be a privilege. I’ll leave it at that.”
At 37, Gasol is heading into the tail end of his career in the league and hopes to compete for a title with the Spurs before it is all said and done. The veteran forward/center is under contract in San Antonio for another two seasons, but it remains to be seen whether he plays out the last two years of his deal at $16 million per season.
One of the prerequisites for having a jersey retired by the Lakers organization is making the Hall of Fame. Bryant, who is more or less assured that distinction due to everything he accomplished in Los Angeles, was a no-brainer for the Lakers resulting in the team retiring his jersey not long after his called it a career.
Gasol, however, isn’t guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame. A strong case can be made for his induction as he’s without a doubt one of the most successful international players of all time with two titles to his credit, but there may be a debate as to whether he’s in the Hall and deserving of the honor from the Lakers franchise when the time comes.