Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol signs with FC Barcelona Bàsquet

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

Just a few weeks ago, Los Angeles Lakers legend, Pau Gasol, announced that he was signing with FC Barcelona Bàsquet.

The announcement was made via Gasol’s Twitter:


Pau, a native of Barcelona, began his professional career with the local team back in 1998, where he played three seasons for them in Liga ACB.

In 2001, Barça won the Spanish National Cup Finals, defeating Real Madrid by a score of 80-77. The then 20-year-old Pau scored 25 points in the championship game and was named the MVP of the tournament.

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After being selected 3rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2001 NBA Draft, Pau Gasol was traded on draft night to the Memphis Grizzlies for the Georgia-native forward, Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Gasol would spend the first six and a half years of his NBA career in Memphis.

On February 1, 2008, the Grizzlies sent the former Rookie of the Year to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade that also involved the rights to his brother, Marc Gasol, in what is now remembered as the Gasol-for-Gasol trade.

Pau was a one-time All-Star during his tenure in Memphis, and he managed to hold 12 franchise records for the club at his time of departure (Marc would go on to break eight of these during his ten and a half years as a Grizzly).

It is safe to say that the trade worked out for Pau, Marc, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

As we all know, Pau went on to have a long 18-year Hall of Fame career in the NBA, with his best years being played under the bright lights in the STAPLES Center. Gasol racked up 6 All-Star Game appearances (3 in LA) and 4 All-NBA selections (2 in LA). Pau played a pivotal role as Kobe’s sidekick when they repeated as NBA Finals Champions in 2009 and 2010.

After playing in three games for the Milwaukee Bucks, on March 10, 2019, Pau Gasol fractured his left foot and later underwent season-ending surgery. He was signed by the Portland Trail Blazers for the 2019-2020 season but never played a game as he was in a continuous struggle to rehab his foot fully.

Since injuring his foot in 2019, we have not see Pau Gasol play any professional basketball.

During the most recent offseason, there were some rumors about Pau returning to the Los Angeles Lakers, but once the season began, these whispers stopped. Now that the 40-year-old Pau is back playing professional basketball, it will be interesting to see how he fares given the long break he has had from the game. Hopefully, his return to the sport will also feature a fully healthy foot.

Gasol landed in Barcelona about a week ago, and it seems like the big Spaniard is happy to be home:

Pau is rejoining his old club in the middle of their season, and they are currently second behind Real Madrid in the Liga ACB standings, and first in the EuroLeague standings.

It will be exciting to see how Gasol performs for Barça, if he can win some championships, and if he tries to make an eventual NBA comeback.

While it is fun to think about a possible return to the NBA for Pau, and even more fun to think about a possible return to the purple and gold, at his age, it is likely that Pau is just ending his career with a couple of seasons in the same place where it all began.

Even if Pau Gasol stays in Spain, the Lakers have a chance to get the other Gasol that they originally drafted back in 2007 a ring.

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Go Lakers, and Força Barça!