Hang up your boots but will continue to be closely linked to sport. The Spanish pivot Pau Gasol, 41, has just announced that he is leaving professional basketball. However, it has a multitude of projects related to sports and health. Pau assures that “this is not a goodbye, it is a we continue”.
2.15 tall and a huge heart
He will continue with his roles in the IOC and the Spanish Sports Advisory Council and as an advisor to Barça and will have more time for his Basketball Academy. You will also be able to dedicate more time to your solidarity projects, such as the launch of a national plan to fight childhood obesity and for your role as an ambassador for UNICEF.
Goodbye to 16
After leaving the number 4 of the Spanish team, after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Gasol definitely says goodbye also to the mythical number 16. With him he won two NBA rings with the Lakers, who are thinking of removing the number 16 in his honor , and was three times league champion in Spain with FC Barcelona.
Three leagues with Barça
A few months ago, last season, he returned to Barça, after recovering from a terrible injury that kept him away from the courts for two years, and raised the league champion cup again, closing the circle.
Kobe Bryant, Pau’s “older brother”
The most emotional moment of the Spanish pivot’s farewell was when he remembered his partner and friend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident in January 2020.
“Special mention to Kobe Bryant, I would very much like him to be here, but … that’s life. Life is very unfair, sometimes,” said a broken Gasol.
“I have always considered him an older brother,” he added.
Leader of the “golden generation”
He was the undisputed leader of the “golden generation” that with La Familia took Spanish basketball to the stratosphere. There was a before and after Pau Gasol.
But he also made an important mark on the other side of the Atlantic, in the NBA, where he spent most of his career. He was the second Spaniard to play in the most important league in the world, after Fernando Martín. He was the first non-American to be named Rookie of the Year and also the first to be chosen to play an All-Star Game.
Pau and his brother Marc also made history, in 2019, by becoming the only brothers to have won an NBA ring.
Pau retires but remains the LEGEND with capital letters that has conquered several generations for his leadership and passion on and off the courts.