The magical weeks of Pau Gasol

There are things that happen only once in a lifetime and to a select few. But if you’re Pau Gasol, those things all happen to you, one after the other… and in a few weeks. Jersey retired by the Lakers, entered into the Springfield Hall of Fame and also ours, in the Spanish Basketball Hall of Fame. On March 7, the number 16 of Pau rose to the sky from the Crypto.com Arena (the old Staples Center). Less than a month later it was announced his induction into the Springfield Hall of Fame, and today the jury of the Spanish Hall of Fame, organized by the Federation and AS, has confirmed that Pau is the great name of the third course, which will live its ceremony on October 19 in Seville, like the two previous galas. A very special act that will be one of the great moments of the centenary of the FEB.

On October 5, 2021, Pau Gasol announced his retirement. He did it after winning the Endesa League with Barcelona. A title that had been added twenty years before, in 2001 and as MVP. It was the year of his great explosion with the Barça team, the one that precipitated his jump to the NBA months later, earlier than some experts had predicted. After that 2021 League, Pau left with the goal of reaching the Tokyo Olympics, the fifth for him. A commitment that led him to fight against the injury that marred his end of his career in the NBA. The bad times of his departure from San Antonio, the time he was truncated by the Bucks and that signing for some Trail Blazers with which he could not debut. A lot of work, also during the worst moment of the pandemic, and finally the return to be able to leave according to his terms. With Barça, with the National Team.

As soon as he said he was leaving, the Lakers announced that they would retire his jersey, his number 16. a question staff for the owner, Jeanie Buss, who highly esteems those years of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, those of the three Finals and two rings (2009 and 2010) for the Lakers. The ceremony was set for March 7, 2023, in a match against the Grizzlies, Pau’s first NBA franchise. A retired jersey is the most a franchise awards. Let this be one like the Lakers, place the honoree in the nobility of basketball: along with Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, of course his inseparable Kobe… The ceremony was concise and emotional, elegant and sincere, with a Pau who could not contain his tears and a city from Los Angeles that showed him how much he had meant. For Lakers fans, for the Latino community, for the children of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles…

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The Springfield Hall of Fame was not long in coming either. Pau hadn’t played in the NBA since 2019, and he was eligible to be drafted. already. A unique honor in the history of basketball and an unforgettable course that he shares with others who have been chosen as soon as possible: Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker (like him, giants of European basketball), Dwyane Wade… On August 12, Pau will be at the memorial hall of famethe museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, the place where James Naismith invented basketball. He will be the third Spaniard to enter among the greatest and the first to do so as a player: Pedro Ferrándiz and Antonio Díaz-Miguel, two myths of the benches, await you. His nomination was official on April 1, in the middle of the University Final Four party, one of the milestones of the annual sports calendar in the US.

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Finally, to complete this trio of historical recognitionsPau Gasol will be part of the 2023 generation, that of the centenary of the FEB, of the Spanish Hall of Fame, an initiative that experienced its first gala in 2021 and that has already become an absolute reference in our basketball. In a very special year for the Federation, he could not be missing. The greatest, the player who broke many barriers in Spanish sports and the only one capable of fulfilling so many dreams in a handful of weeks: his 16th retirement by the Lakers, Springfield Hall of Fame, FEB Hall of Fame.

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