Pau Gasol, Spanish basketball legend, retires | DW | 05.10.2021

The Spanish pivot Pau Gasol announced this Tuesday (10.05.2021) that he is ending a successful career that made him one of the best European players in the NBA, where he won two rings, and one of the most important athletes in history from his country, during an emotional event in Barcelona.

At the age of 41, the Catalan giant says goodbye with an extensive track record. Three times champion of Europe, the oldest of the Gasol brothers twice won the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming the first Spanish to do so, in addition to being World Champion in 2006 and winning three Olympic medals (two silver and one bronze ).

With his voice trembling with emotion, Gasol appeared in a room at the Gran Teatro del Liceo, in the heart of Barcelona, ​​where he had summoned former colleagues, family and the media to report on his decision. “I am here to inform you that (…) I am going to retire from professional basketball. It is a difficult decision, as you can imagine, after so many years, but it is a thoughtful decision, you have to change gear a bit, and also knowing how to enjoy, “he explained to a select audience of close friends.

Gasol says goodbye after a quiet reflection that he faced after playing his fifth and last Olympic Games in Tokyo, where his great journey earned him being elected a member of the athletes’ commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). After falling in the quarterfinals against the United States in Saitama, he made his retirement from the Spanish team official, but kept the unknown about his career. Until this Tuesday.

“One of the things I wanted was to end up playing and enjoying, not because of an injury, not on crutches and with operations,” he explained about his decision, which comes months after having managed to return to competition with Barcelona, ​​after two hard years recovering from a left foot injury that many thought he would not return from.

On his return home, Gasol achieved what was his second league with Barça from which he raised in his first season as a Barça professional (2000-2001). (AFP)