Farewell to a legend: Pau Gasol retires from basketball

Farewell to a legend: Pau Gasol retires from basketball

End and end. The best Spanish basketball player of all time will never score a basket again. Pau Gasol (Sant Boi, 1980) announced this Tuesday, October 5, 2021 that he is leaving the professional practice of the sport that has made him a world star.

Pau Gasol announces the retirement of him Mané Espinosa / Own

Gasol made the announcement on a stage at the height of the event, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, ​​and he did so surrounded by family and friends. "It is a difficult decision but I am going to retire of the basketball", informed he with some tears appearing by his face and the broken voice.

The center of Sant Boi wanted to be well surrounded in one of the adjoining rooms of the Liceu. His whole family clothed him. "Family is everything," said the attentive gaze of his parents, Agustí and Marisa, his brothers, Marc and Adrià, and his wife and his daughter, Catherine and Ellie, all seated in the front row .

But there were several colleagues who have accompanied him throughout his career. Starting with his close friend Juan Carlos Navarro ("He taught me what friendship means," he highlighted), by his former teammate and former technician, Sarunas Jasikevicius, former teammates in the national team such as Rudy Fernández, Raúl López or Felipe Reyes, in addition to Joan Laporta , president of Barça, or Joan Montes, former coach of Barça.

Before confirming his retirement, Gasol reviewed his career, his successes but also the ordeal he has experienced with injuries. For several moments, his tears interrupted his speech. Although it was when he remembered the figure of the late Kobe Bryant when it was most difficult for him to follow: "He taught me to be more of a leader, more of a competitor, he taught me what it means to be a winner. I will always consider him as a brother."

Gasol's farewell is farewell to a legend, to one of the best Spanish athletes in history. The greatest of an unrepeatable saga leaves with a backpack loaded with titles, collective and individual, and perhaps with the bittersweet taste of never having hung an Olympic gold or having raised a Euroleague.

But his record does not suffer from that, where his two NBA championship rings with the Lakers stand out above all else, which definitely catapulted him to fame. Two titles that he earned hard, being a key piece in Phil Jackson's team, and that cemented his friendship with the late Kobe Bryant.

With his goodbye, the door of Barça is closed definitively, which kept the doors open waiting for him to know his decision. The Endesa League that won so brilliantly last season will remain forever as his last title. "It has been a gift to be able to finish my career like this, winning a League against Real Madrid with Barça," he certified smiling.

"And now what?" Gasol himself wondered at the end of his long speech. The one from Sant Boi ruled out going to the benches in order to seek "versatility." "Being on a bench requires many hours, more than being a player, and my range of concerns is broader," he explained. The former player will now dedicate himself to several professional projects that he has in hand, to his work as a new member of the IOC, to the activities of his foundation and to spend more time with his family.