Pau Gasol Retires After 19-Year Career with Lakers, Grizzlies, More; Won 2 NBA Titles

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 5, 2021

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 05: Pau Gasol faces de media during a press conference at El Liceu de Barcelona theater on October 05, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Pau Gasol announced his retirement from basketball in a press conference Tuesday.

The 41-year-old spent 19 seasons in the NBA, winning two titles while earning six All-Star selections and the 2002 Rookie of the Year award.

He returned home to Spain last season to finish his career with FC Barcelona, bookending his professional career after he played for the team from 1998 to 2001.

Gasol was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft and quickly became a difference-maker for the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 18.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game across six-and-a-half seasons before a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008.

The center thrived in Los Angeles as a No. 2 option alongside Kobe Bryant, helping the team win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

A hero in Los Angeles. A hoops legend around the world. <br><br>Congrats on your retirement, Pau. <a href="https://t.co/ODzWHXgq94">pic.twitter.com/ODzWHXgq94</a>

After six-plus seasons in L.A., Gasol continued his career with the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers before leaving the NBA.

He finishes his career ranked in the top 50 in NBA/ABA history in total points (20,894), rebounds (11,305) and blocks (1,941), while his 144 win shares rank 31st all-time, per Basketball Reference

NBA commissioner Adam Silver congratulated Gasol on his retirement in a statement, calling him "one of the most accomplished players of his generation":


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s statement regarding Pau Gasol’s retirement <a href="https://t.co/xNaDyOSLVy">pic.twitter.com/xNaDyOSLVy</a>

At the international level, Gasol helped Spain win Olympic silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and the bronze medal in 2016. He led his country to the gold medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, taking home the MVP award.

His accolades could add up to a Hall of Fame induction when he is eligible.