Basketball legend Pau Gasol retires from playing after glittering career
Catalan star calls time on career boasting two NBA Championships, six NBA All-Stars, and three Liga ACB titles
Pau Gasol, perhaps the greatest Catalan basketball player of all time, has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 41 after a glittering career.
The Barcelona-born superstar made the announcement at an emotional press conference in his home city on Tuesday.
Gasol began playing at FC Barcelona in 1998 before moving to the NBA as the third overall pick in the 2001 draft.
In the United States, he picked up two NBA Championships, was picked in the NBA All-Star team on six occasions, and picked up the Rookie of the Year honour in his first season.
He enjoyed his most successful spell in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly planning on retiring his number 16 jersey. In California, he won the back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.
His stateside career began at the Memphis Grizzlies, before moving to the Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Portland Trailblazers.
Throughout his NBA career, Gasol played more than 1,200 regular season games where he averaged 17.0 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, and 3.2 assists per game.
He also competed in 136 playoff encounters, posting 15.4 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game.
During his two spells at Barça, the Catalan helped his side to three Liga ACB titles, including the 2021 crown after he returned to his hometown club in February to finish off his club career. He also picked up the 2001 Copa del Rey title, when he was named MVP.
Gasol also helped drive the Spanish national team to the 2006 FIBA World Championship as well as the EuroBasket crown in 2009, 2011, and 2015, plus three Olympic medals: silver in 2008 and 2012, and bronze in 2016.
After his brother, Marc Gasol, picked up the NBA title in 2019, the pair became the first set of siblings to both win NBA Championships.