There have been many heroes, legends, and icons to play for the Los Angeles Lakers since its creation decades ago.
Even some of the stars who have never reached that level of fame and success are still cherished.
Take Pau Gasol, for example.
He is still one of the most prized athletes to ever suit up in the purple and gold.
And now he’s getting the respect he deserves.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 17, 2022
The Lakers will retire Gasol’s jersey on March 7, 2023, years after the big man found great success and helped lead the team to two championships.
What makes Gasol so special and why is it time to retire his number 16?
Gasol spent some of the best years of his career with the Lakers, creating a close bond and friendship and chemistry with Bryant.
During his time in LA, Gasol put up 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a game.
He was an All-Star three times during his tenure with the Lakers and he was also a vital part of the team’s culture and chemistry.
Gasol was nearly always cool-headed and incredibly smart.
The way he would play with Bryant was also a sight to behold: they could read each other better than nearly any other pair in the league.
Retiring Gasol’s jersey is a great move by the team because he is beloved by the fanbase and was also a crucial part of the team’s success.
The team was more than just the Black Mamba and Bryant always said he needed Gasol to win those championships.
It’s about time that Gasol gets this major honor from the Lakers.