Pau Gasol Emotional Ahead Of Jersey Retirement Tonight: “My Number Goes Up There, Because Of Kobe”

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/US Presswire


Tonight, 6-time All-Star, 2-time Champion, 4-time All-NBA Team member, ROTY, 3-time Spanish Champion, 3-time Olympic medalist, world champion, and European champion Pau Gasol will have his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The accolades are just the framework of an incredible career, as Gasol has left his mark in history as one of the best europeans to ever play the game.

When the Lakers raise Gasol’s number 16 to the rafters of the arena tonight, his jersey will be next to Kobe Bryant’s.

Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant weren’t only teammates, who won two titles together, they also were best friends.

Ever since the tragic death of Kobe and Gianna, Gasol has strengthened and maintained his bond with the Bryant family and has been the best friend one could ask for in such incredibly hard times. 

Before the ceremony, Gasol reflected about this honor, revealing that seeing Kobe’s name still is very emotional for him, while saying that his number being retired is in large parts due to Bryant.



“Just trying to little by little take it in and just digest and comprehend that my number, my jersey will be up there with those great amazing players and names in the history of our game,” Gasol tells ESPN. “And obviously being next to Kobe, seeing his name, still emotional.

“It’s impossible [to separate],” Gasol said, wiping away tears on that night in late January. “It’s inevitable. I don’t know how. … My number goes up there, in big reason, because of him.

“And also how he made me better, how he made us better, how he led us in those runs and the effect that he had. And then obviously not having him here with us, it’s tough.”


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