Lakers Retire Pau Gasol’s Jersey

Number 16 has joined the legendary likes of Numbers 8 and 24.

Number 16 has joined the legendary likes of Numbers 8 and 24.

Despite retiring from the NBA in 2021, former Los Angeles Lakers player Pau Gasol is still fondly remembered as one of the team’s most accomplished members. It was for this reason that, during the Lakers’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, the team paid him a high honor: they have formally retired his Number 16 jersey, placing it in a spot of honor next to the Number 8 and 24 jerseys worn by the late Kobe Bryant.

“I mean life goes by pretty fast, right? In the blink of an eye, you can be a kid playing basketball in your school with your buddies, then all of a sudden, you’re realizing your dream,” Gasol said during the game. “But tonight, it really exceeds any dream or expectation that I’ve had because it means so much. And obviously with Kobe up there, it just adds something meaningful and powerful, and sad and happy, and painful and joyful.

“It’s a lot of things.”

“I miss him a lot,” Gasol said about Bryant. “There’s nothing I can do about it but to love his family. That’s how I deal with it.”

Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was a guest at the ceremony, showing an old video of Kobe talking about Gasol from 2018. “There’s no debate,” Bryant said in the video. “Pau, when he retires, he will have his number in the rafters next to mine. The reality is, I don’t win those championships without Pau. The city of L.A. doesn’t have those two championships without Pau. We know that. Everybody knows that. And I really look forward to the day when he’s there giving his speech at center court in front of all the fans who have supported him over the years. And so, it’s going to be an awesome night.”

Follow @TwistityNews