“Should the Lakers retire Pau Gasol’s number?” This conversation has been discussed ever since Gasol’s tenure in the purple and gold ended, but it has sparked up again in recent days.
Combine Gasol’s Instagram live comments about how it would be an honor, plus asking for the Lakers to make him a lock screen on Twitter, and sending gifts to Vanessa Bryant for her and Gigi’s birthday’s, the conversation has reached its peak.
I’m definitely biased when this conversation comes up as Gasol is one of my favorite players of all time. But all bias aside, Gasol deserves to be next to Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers legends in the rafters at Staples Center.
During his 6 year career with the Lakers , Gasol averaged 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks on 52.2 percent shooting. He collected three All-Star selections, three All-NBA bids and most important 2 NBA titles.
During the Lakers’ 2009-10 championship run, Gasol was right there with Bryant in production and importance. On some nights, Gasol was the most valuable player in a Lakers jersey. He provided a bonafide number two option behind Bryant, helping the Lakers to win back to back titles.
Maybe even more impressive than his stats, was Gasol’s ability to connect with Bryant. He not only bonded with Bryant on the court, but their relationship thrived off the court. This is no small feat, just ask past teammates of Bryant.
Before his passing in January, Kobe did speak his mind on the ever going discussion.
“There’s no debate. Pau, when he retires, he will have his number in the rafters next to mine. The reality is, I don’t win those championships without Pau; the city of L.A. doesn’t have those two championships without Pau Gasol. We know that, everybody knows that, and I really look forward to the day that he’s there giving his speech at center court in front of all of the fans that have supported him over the years. It’s going to be an awesome night.”
The Lakers can ignore the Twitter and Instagram conversations, but when Kobe Bryant speaks on something, you listen.
Once Pau Gasol submits his retirement papers, the Lakers will set up a night to honor the 7 foot Spaniard. Because like Kobe said, there’s no debate that he deserves it.