Two-time NBA champ Pau Gasol called it quits on a career that spanned more than two decades and two continents.
Gasol, 41, made the announcement Tuesday in Barcelona surrounded by former teammates and family members.
“I’m going to retire from professional basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s a difficult decision, as you can imagine after this many years.”
“One of the other things I wanted, was to finish having fun, not [retire] due to an injury or being on crutches or surgeries. So I am grateful to all who helped to contribute to this being a reality.”
Todos en pie para aplaudir a @paugasol. LEYENDA 👏👏
"Me retiro del baloncesto profesional. Es una decisión difícil pero es meditada, quería acabar jugando y disfrutando, no en muletas por una lesión".#GraciasPau pic.twitter.com/W2NNb3R08Y
— #Vamos de Movistar+ (@vamos) October 5, 2021
The former Laker had already retired from international play after Spain lost to the US in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo games last summer.
Gasol thanked those who helped him achieve a career decorated with achievements, which started when he was 16.
The seven-footer played four seasons at FC Barcelona before entering the NBA and played in five Olympics for Spain over the course of his career.
Gasol won a world title with Spain in 2006, and Olympic silver medals in Beijing (2008) and London (2012), and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro (2016).
He was the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies, a six-time NBA All-Star, a four-time All-NBA Team, and won back-to-back titles with the Lakers in 2009-2010.
The lanky center/forward averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1,226 regular-season games over 18 seasons.
Pau played for multiple teams, including the Grizzlies, Spurs, Bulls, Bucks, and signed with the Portland, but he will be remembered most for his years playing alongside Kobe Bryant at Staples Center.
Gasol helped Bryant win two more titles after Shaquille O’Neal was traded from the team, solidifying Bryant’s ranking as one of if not the greatest Laker ever.
LA plans to show its thanks by retiring Gasol’s number 16 jersey, according to Shams Charania.
The Los Angeles Lakers plan to retire Pau Gasol’s No. 16 jersey. https://t.co/rC4EgGEQ9l
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 5, 2021
Gasol is just the 11th player in Laker’s history to receive the honor, joining the ranks of Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and more.
The future Hall of Famer was recently elected to represent athletes with the International Olympic Committee.