Former Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol is a shoo-in to have his No. 16 jersey retired by the team, and it appears it could happen soon.
The 42-year-old told Marc Mundet of RAC1 that he has already spoken with the franchise and the Buss family, and his jersey retirement ceremony could be in the works for some time during the 2022-23 season.
Gasol spent six-plus seasons of his 18-year NBA career in Los Angeles and helped lead the franchise to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. He was especially effective as a No. 2 option next to Kobe Bryant, as the two of them developed an instant chemistry when the Lakers acquired him from the Memphis Grizzlies midway through the 2007-08 season.
A native of Spain, Gasol began his professional career in Europe before being drafted third overall in 2001 by the Atlanta Hawks, who traded him to the Grizzlies on draft night. He made an instant impact, winning Rookie of the Year in 2002 and going on to become a six-time All-Star.
Gasol also played for the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2019 but never played a game for the team. He returned to Spain in 2021 and signed with FC Barcelona, the team he began his career with. Barcelona won the 2020-21 ACB championship and also reached the 2020-21 EuroLeague final.
In international play, Gasol was a longtime star for Spain and won a total of 11 medals in FIBA competitions. He helped lead the team to gold in the 2006 World Cup and silver in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Gasol announced his retirement from professional basketball this past October. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported at the time that the Lakers had planned to honor him with a jersey retirement ceremony. Now, it appears that it's just a matter of time for Gasol's celebration.