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Kobe’s prediction is true: “Pau will have his number next to mine”

On March 7, 2023, Spanish basketball will dress up to commemorate a historic night: the Los Angeles Lakers will retire Pau Gasol's number 16. It w


On March 7, 2023, Spanish basketball will dress up to commemorate a historic night: the Los Angeles Lakers will retire Pau Gasol’s number 16. It will be the first time that a player from our country receives an honor reserved only for the great stars of the NBA firmament. An honor that in the Los Angeles franchise, champion of the League 17 times, is worth double because Sant Boi will share the sky of the old Staples Center with legends like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal… and Kobe Bryant.

The shooting guard, who died in a fatal helicopter accident in January 2020 at just 41 years old, had his ceremony in 2017. In it, the Lakers raised the two numbers he used in his 20 seasons with the team, 8 (1996-2006 ) and 24 (2006-16), with which he lifted five Larry O’Brien trophies, two of them with his brother Pau, whom he also saw with his number retired by the Angelenos.

So much so that he made it public, without mincing words and without fear of being wrong, in 2018. It was at the 90th edition of the Oscars that he won the award for best animated short film with Dear Basketball.

“When Pau retires, he will have his number next to mine… Those championships would not have been won without Pau… I am really looking forward to the day when he gives his speech on center court… It is going to be an amazing night”, he predicted.

Sadly, he will not be there to hug Gasol, who left basketball on October 5, 2021 after winning the Endesa League with Barcelona and two years after leaving the NBA for good due to a foot injury that prevented him from enjoying himself a little. more of an American adventure that lasted 18 seasons in five different franchises.

One of them, Memphis Grizzlies, in which he debuted in the North American League and from which he traveled to California. Those from Tennessee will be the rivals of the Lakers on March 7 and, in addition, they will be the next to withdraw the number of a Spaniard, the 33rd of his brother Marc when he leaves basketball for good.