In a spectacle only the likes of Kobe Bryant could appreciate, the Los Angeles Lakers retired both of Bryant’s jerseys in Staples Center. The now-retired Laker great is predicting another Laker legend will get a jersey retirement ceremony, Pau Gasol.
While at the 2018 Oscar nominees luncheon, a reporter asked Bryant’s opinion on the likelihood his former Lakers All-Star teammate could have his jersey in the rafters.
Bryant was sure in his answer that the Lakers would choose to retire Gasol’s jersey.
Following from Antonio Martin,
“There’s no debate, Pau, when he retires will have his number in the rafters next to mine. The reality is, I don’t win those championships without Pau. The city of LA doesn’t have those two championships without Pau Gasol. We know that; everybody knows that. I really look forward to the speech at center court in front of all the fans who supported him over the years. It’s going to be awesome.”
Gasol, originally from Spain, spent seven years with the Lakers after being traded from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. The Lakers won titles in 2009 and 2010.
In the 2010 playoffs, Gasol averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, and three assists per game on the way to a back-back NBA Finals victory.
Since leaving the Lakers in 2013, Gasol has spent time with the Chicago Bulls and is now playing a role in San Antonio.The Spaniard is in his second season with the Spurs who sit in third place in the Western Conference.
While in a diminished role, Gasol has proven he can reinvent his game and contribute to a winning environment. The 37-year old is averaging 10 points, 8.3 rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes per game this season.