Pau Gasol Announces FC Barcelona Contract After Playing 18 NBA Seasons

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 122-119. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol is returning to professional basketball with FC Barcelona.

Gasol announced on Twitter he has signed a contract with Barca and hopes to "contribute to the first team very soon":

Pau Gasol @paugasol

Very happy to come back home.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Força Barça! 🔵🔴 https://t.co/6CewIY2Bil

Speculation about Gasol returning to Barcelona began over the weekend with a report from a Spanish news outlet, but he did not confirm what appeared to be a rumor. 

"After hearing the news out of Spain today, I wanted to share that I remain focused on my recovery and I am not ready to get back to competing just yet," Gasol wrote on Twitter. "As soon as I have something to announce, I will do so via my social media channels. Thank you very much for your support!"

Gasol has teased a potential return to the NBA in recent months. He told ESPN's Zach Lowe in December that he was still working toward an NBA comeback, ideally with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

"There is meaning and history there," Gasol said. "I'm not going to lie. It would be very special, and now that my brother [Marc] is there, even more special. But I'm not in a position now to be very demanding. I don't have 10 offers on the table."

Gasol last played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. The Spanish star played 18 seasons with five teams from 2001 to 2019. He won two NBA championships with the Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10. 

Before coming to the United States to play in the NBA, Gasol began his professional career with FC Barcelona from 1998 to 2001. He won two Spanish League titles and was named Spanish League Finals MVP and Spanish King's Cup MVP in 2001.