Paul Gasol retires from professional basketball

“I am retiring from professional basketball. It is a difficult decision, but you have to change gears. I wanted to end up playing, not with crutches,” Gasol said at the press conference he gave last Tuesday at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on La Rambla from Barcelona.

His 20 years of professional career are full of successes: three times European champion, 18 seasons in the NBA with two rings along with the Los Angeles Lakers, world champion in 2006 and three Olympic medals.

At the age of 16, he played for FC Barcelona, ​​where he began what would be an extraordinary career. In 2001 he reached the most important basketball league in the world: the NBA. Until 2008 he was a Memphis Grizzlies player. In February of that year, he made his debut at the club that would establish him as the best European player in the NBA: Los Angeles Lakers. There he would form a dreamed duo with Kobe Bryant, with whom he won two championships. He went through the Chicago Bulls (2014-2016), the San Antonio Spurs (2016-2019), the Milwaukee Bucks (2019) and the Portland Trail Blazers (2019).

After being separated from the courts due to a foot injury, on February 23, 2021 he signed a contract until the end of the season with FC Barcelona of the Endesa League, the team where he was formed. At the end of his participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Paul announced his retirement from the national team.

The 2.13 meter giant burst into tears when talking about his “older brother” Kobe Bryant, who passed away in January 2020. “Kobe, I would really like you to be here with me. Life is very unfair, we miss him so much so much him as his daughter Gigi, but he taught me how to be a better leader, a better competitor, and what it really meant to be a winner. “

From the Los Angeles Lakers they announced the retirement of “16”, a shirt that Gasol wore, to shine at the Staples Center along with other giants such as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johson.