Los Angeles (USA), (EFE) 16.
This special tribute to the Spanish basketball legend will take place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles (the new name of the Staples Center) and during the game between the Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol’s other great team during his fabulous career in the NBA.
The game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. Los Angeles time (03:00 GMT on Wednesday) and Gasol’s ceremony will take place at halftime.
Pau Gasol and his “special moment”
“Every day that goes by, every hour that goes by, we are closer to that very special moment, which is going to be as emotional as an avalanche and a huge hurricane of emotions. It is difficult to digest and process everything,” Gasol said in an interview with Efe at the end of February.
“I think the most important thing is going to be letting go, letting myself be carried away by those emotions and by that moment: enjoying it and sharing it with everyone. For me it is a moment of great gratitude and to share it with everyone who has accompanied me throughout my career in any position and who has been part of all the moments that have led to this moment, ”he added.
Gasol’s 16 will join an illustrious and very exclusive list of retired numbers that includes Lakers heroes such as ‘Magic’ Johnson’s 32, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 33, Shaquille O’Neal’s 34 or 44 by Jerry West.
Next to Kobe
Although probably the most important thing for the man from Sant Boi is to see his name and number alongside those of his ‘brother’, the late Kobe Bryant with 8 and 24.
“His presence, his spirit and his legacy are always with me and I always keep him in my mind. I will always consider it that way even if he cannot be with us physically, but he will be with us in another way, ”Gasol said of Kobe.
The unforgettable Lakers escort, who died in 2020 in a helicopter accident and who formed a great alliance with Gasol on and off the track, was one of the great defenders that the Spaniard deserved that the Los Angeles franchise withdraw his number , as he said in an interview with Efe in 2018.
“There is no debate. When he retires, he will have his number at the top of the pavilion. The reality is that we would not have won those two titles without him. We know it, we all know it,” Bryant said.
The six-time All-Star will be the center of attention in this tribute attended by personalities from the Lakers related to his great stage in the Californian city (three consecutive NBA Finals and two rings in 2009 and 2010).
It is also expected that close friends of Gasol will be present, such as the also myth of Spanish basketball Juan Carlos Navarro or the singer David Muñoz of the duo Estopa (both were seen this Sunday in the game between the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors).