Pau Gasol Has His No. 16 Jersey Retired By the Lakers

Pau Gasol at a NBA2K17 event in 2016
Pau Gasol at a NBA2K17 event in 2016. Photo by Muddy Ignace/Dydppa/REX/Shutterstock NBA2K17 event

The Los Angeles Lakers paid the ultimate respect to retired All-Star big man Pau Gasol by retiring the No. 16 jersey he wore during his time with the franchise. The jersey retirement ceremony was held on Tuesday night during the halftime of the Lakers’ 112-103 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies game was the obvious choice considering this was the franchise from which Gasol joined the Lakers in 2008. He would go on to win back-to-back NBA titles in Los Angeles alongside the legendary Kobe Bryant.

Gasol is the 12th Lakers player who had his jersey retired, joining the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Bryant.

“I mean life goes by pretty fast, right? In the blink of an eye, you can be a kid playing basketball in your school with your buddies, then all of a sudden, you’re realizing your dream,” Gasol said at the ceremony.. “But tonight, it really exceeds any dream or expectation that I’ve had because it means so much. And obviously with Kobe up there, it just adds something meaningful and powerful, and sad and happy, and painful and joyful.”

Pau Gasol started his NBA career with the Grizzlies, where he established himself as an All-Star and one of the most-skilled big men in the NBA. Upon joining the Lakers in a blockbuster trade that also included his younger brother Marc heading to Memphis, Gasol further elevated his game while being the second most important player during championship runs in 2009 and 2010.

Gasol left the Lakers ahead of the 2014-15 NBA season to join the Chicago Bulls and later also played for the San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks. He retired in 2021 after playing one season with his boyhood club Barcelona.

Ben loves sports so much but prefers watching other people do it. He prefers not to share what teams he's supporting but he is willing to admit that Lebron James is, in fact, the king.