Spanish basketball legend Pau Gasol leaves the court


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Spanish interior Pau Gasol, 41, announced that he is ending his career as a professional basketball player. He has won two NBA titles, a world title, two Olympic silver medals and three European titles.

The Spaniard Pau Gasol, one of the most beautiful winners in history basketball European, announced, Tuesday, October 5, in Barcelona that he was putting, at 41 years old, an end to his professional playing career.

“I am here to announce that I am retiring from professional basketball. It is a difficult decision, after so many years, as you can imagine. But it is a considered decision,” he explained at a farewell ceremony held at the Liceu Theater in Barcelona, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

“You have to know how to turn the page. I wanted to finish playing and enjoying, and not on crutches and between several operations,” said Pau Gasol, victim of a serious fracture of a foot in 2019 that almost ended his career.

A golden career

The eldest of the Gasol brothers led Spain to a world title, two Olympic silver medals, three European titles, and had a remarkable career in the NBA championship, which he won twice (2009, 2010) with the Los Angeles Lakers of Kobe Bryant.

Pau Gasol alongside Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher after the NBA title won by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
Pau Gasol alongside Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher after the NBA title won by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. KEVORK DJANSEZIAN GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Leader of the Spanish generation of “Niños de oro” (golden children), which included Juan Carlos Navarro, his brother Marc or Rudy Fernandez, Pau Gasol has made Spain the first nation of European basketball since the beginning of XXIe century.

The Catalan giant (2.16 m) is one of the greatest European basketball players in history, alongside legends like Dirk Nowitzki, Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc or his best French enemy Tony Parker. Pau Gasol has won almost everything: in Spain under the colors of FC Barcelona, then in the NBA, and even internationally, where he tutored the American invincibles at the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London… never able to win gold.

His last attempt, this summer in Tokyo, ended in failure, as Spain was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the United States (95-81). It is to clinch a Euroleague title, the only club title missing from his list, that Pau Gasol returned to FC Barcelona, in his heart club, in 2021, after having unsuccessfully scoured several NBA teams, including San Antonio and Milwaukee. But, with the return of a Gasol on the decline, Barça failed to win the competition-queen of European basketball.

With AFP


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