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Spanish basketball legend Pau Gasol leaves the court


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Spain’s interior Pau Gasol, 41, has announced that he is ending his career as a professional basketball player. He notably won two NBA titles, a world coronation, two Olympic silver medals and three European titles.

The Spaniard Pau Gasol, one of the most beautiful achievements in the history of European basketball, announced Tuesday, October 5, in Barcelona that, at 41, he was putting an end to his career as a professional player.

“I’m here to tell you that I’m going to retire from professional basketball. It’s a tough decision, after so many years, as you can imagine. But it’s a thoughtful decision,” he said. he explained during a farewell ceremony organized at the Liceu theater in Barcelona, ​​surrounded by his family and loved ones.

“You have to know how to turn the page. I wanted to finish playing and enjoying, and not on crutches and between several operations,” said Pau Gasol, victim of a serious fracture of a foot in 2019 who had almost put an end to to his career.

A golden career

The eldest of the Gasol brothers notably led Spain to a world coronation, two Olympic silver medals, three European titles, and had a remarkable career in the NBA championship, which he won twice (2009, 2010 ) with Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.

Pau Gasol alongside Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher after the NBA title won by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. KEVORK DJANSEZIAN GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Leader of the Spanish generation of “Niños de oro” (golden children), which included Juan Carlos Navarro, his brother Marc and Rudy Fernandez, Pau Gasol made Spain the first nation of European basketball since the beginning of the XXIe century.

The Catalan giant (2.16 m) is one of the greatest European basketball players in history, alongside legends like Dirk Nowitzki, Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc or his best French enemy Tony Parker. Pau Gasol won almost everything: in Spain under the colors of FC Barcelona, ​​then in the NBA, and even internationally, where he touched the invincible Americans at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and 2012 in London … without ever succeeding in gleaning gold.

His last attempt, this summer in Tokyo, ended in failure, Spain having been eliminated in quarters by the United States (95-81). It was to win a coronation in the Euroleague, the only club title missing from its record, that Pau Gasol returned to FC Barcelona, ​​in his club of hearts, in 2021, after having unsuccessfully skimmed several NBA teams, including San Antonio and Milwaukee. But, with the return of a Gasol on the decline, Barça failed to win the queen competition of European basketball.

With AFP


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