Gasol retires after 23-year career, two NBA titles, three Olympic medals

Gasol retires after 23-year career, two NBA titles, three Olympic medals

Pau Gasol gives a press conference at Theater Liceu, Barcelona, ​​Spain on October 5, 2021/ (REUTERS)

BARCELONA – Spanish basketball great Pau Gasol announced on Tuesday that he is retiring from the sport after a career spanning 23 years.

“I’m here to tell you that I’m going to retire from professional basketball. It’s a difficult decision after so many years, but it’s a decision I made carefully,” Gasol, 41, told a press conference at the Liceu Theater in Barcelona.

Gasol, who is 6 feet tall, made his professional debut in 1998 with Barça as a center before being signed by NBA team Memphis Grizzlies in 2001.

He won NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, while being named to the All-Star team six times.

Gasol later played for the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs and had a brief stint with the Milwaukee Bucks plus four months with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he was unable to play due to injury.

He returned to Barcelona earlier this year and helped his youth club end a seven-year wait to win the Spanish Championship in June.

Gasol was a talisman for Spain, helping them win the Olympic silver medal at the 2008 and 2012 Games plus bronze in 2016.

He recovered from nearly two years of injury to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Spain lost in the quarter-finals to eventual winner the US in its last international match.

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