If NBA fans know anything about the Lakers, it’s that being a big man while rocking the purple and gold comes with huge expectations. That legendary Laker center pedigree went up a notch after the Lakers announced that franchise legend Pau Gasol’s No. 16 will hang in the Crypto.com Arena rafters.
Gasol joins Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem O’NealJabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain as the most noteworthy big men to ever grace a Lakers uniform. The Lakers will honor Gasol when L.A. hosts the Memphis Grizzlies on March 7.
A six-time NBA All-Star, Gasol and the legendary Kobe Bryant played a crucial role in L.A.’s back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. He averaged 18.6 points per game in each of those NBA Finals series and averaged 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game on 52.2 percent shooting from the field over 429 games with the Lakers.
Gasol started his NBA career in Memphis but was traded to Los Angeles during the 2008 season, where he instantly made an impact. His career also featured stints in Chicago, San Antonio, and Milwaukee, but none more iconic than his seven seasons in the purple and gold. Gasol also had a prestigious international career with Spain, winning two silver medals and one bronze in three Summer Olympics appearances and a gold medal in the 2006 FIBA World Cup.
After multiple All-Star appearances and two championships over an illustrious career in Los Angeles, No. 16 will forever be honored in the Lakers’ rafters.