Pau Gasol retires from professional basketball

THOMAS COEX / AFP / Getty

Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol is retiring from professional basketball, he announced Tuesday during a press conference in his native Spain.

"It was a difficult decision, as you might imagine, after many years," Gasol said. "But it was a decision made with a lot of thought.

"You have to change gears a little bit and know how to enjoy it. And one of the things I wanted was to end my career while enjoying it. Not because of an injury, not in crutches."

Gasol played 18 seasons in the NBA from 2001-19. He split time with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. He had a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers for the 2019-20 campaign but never made an appearance due to his recovery from foot surgery.

He spent the 2020-21 campaign with Barcelona, the team with which he signed his first professional contract as a teenager.

The Lakers intend to retire the No. 16 jersey Gasol wore over six-and-a-half seasons with the franchise, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

In 1,226 games in the Association, the six-time All-Star tallied 17 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 36.8% from distance. He won both of his titles in back-to-back seasons with the Lakers.

A potential Hall of Famer, Gasol was also the 2002 Rookie of the Year with the Grizzlies and was selected to four All-NBA teams throughout his career.

The former third overall pick helped lead Spain to success on the international stage, winning a silver medal at both the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games. He also earned bronze in 2016.

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Pau Gasol retires from professional basketball
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