Lakers to retire Pau Gasol’s jersey No. 16 in March

All 10 Lakers whose jersey numbers are retired have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Pau Gasol has an excellent chance of being inducted into a strong class in the 2023 Hall of Fame.

And whether he’s picked up in his first year of eligibility or later, his No. 16 has already been retired by the Lakers.

Gasol’s No. 16 will be raised to the rafters during a ceremony March 7, 2023 at the Arena, the Lakers announced Wednesday, fittingly during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Gasol played the first 6½ seasons of his career for the Grizzlies but jumped on the fast track to induction into the Hall of Fame after joining the Lakers midway through the 2007-2008 season. He developed instant chemistry with Kobe Bryant and his other teammates and helped lead the Lakers to NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. The Lakers also reached the Finals in 2008.

The acquisition of Gasol and a second-round draft pick in exchange for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, draft rights to Marc Gasol, and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010 on February 1, 2008 were not initially looked at as a one-way deal.

But in hindsight, it was a franchise-changing move, providing Bryant with a formidable partner and the Lakers with a well-rounded, consistent frontcourt presence for 6½ seasons. Gasol was a three-time All-Star with the Lakers and formed a total of six All-Star teams in 2015 and 2016, one with Memphis and two with the Chicago Bulls.

Gasol averaged 18.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 1,226 games over 18 seasons before retiring in 2019. Born in Barcelona, ​​Spain, the player was drafted third overall in the 2001 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, who immediately traded him to Memphis for Shareef’s Abdur Rahim.

During his time with the Lakers, Gasol averaged 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks. In addition to his All-Star performances, he was a four-time All-NBA player and 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year, the first non-American to receive that honor.

Gasol, who also played for San Antonio and Milwaukee alongside the Lakers, Grizzlies and Bulls, will compete for the 2023 Hall of Fame class. Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker are also admitted for the first time.

Gasol’s No. 16 will be the 11th number to be retired by the Lakers as Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 are both retired. Here are the others:

  • Wilt Chamberlain, No. 13
  • Elgin Baylor, No. 22
  • Gail Goodrich, No. 25
  • Magic Johnson, #32
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, No. 33
  • Shaquille O’Neal, #34
  • James Worthy, No. 42.
  • Jerry West, #44
  • Jamaal Wilkes, No. 52 Lakers to retire Pau Gasol’s jersey No. 16 in March

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