Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Greatest Players in Lakers History (Updated 2023)

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
39 of 50
Pau Gasol (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Pau Gasol (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Greatest Lakers of all time: 12- Pau Gasol

  • 7 seasons, 429 games, 2 titles
  • 17.7 PPG
  • 9.9 RPG
  • 3.5 APG
  • 1.4 blocks

One of the league’s most consistent, multi-talented front court players, Pau was a 3-time all-star who helped the Lakers reach the Finals each of his first 3 seasons with the club.

When Andrew Bynum went down with a serious knee injury, General Manager Mitch Kupchak, in perhaps his best-ever move, traded for Pau. At first Gasol replaced Bynum at center, teaming with power forward Odom and Bryant to lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals. After Bynum returned, Gasol moved over to power forward, where he had predominantly played at Memphis, and gave the Lakers an outstanding “high-low’ combination. When Bynum was out, Gasol switched back over to the 5 alongside Odom. The native Spaniard was equally adept at both positions.

Pau was a natural fit in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, in which he excelled. He had a soft touch, could score inside with either hand and was an outstanding passer as well as a solid rebounder.

Gasol was a major force propelling the Lakers to their back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. Some thought that Gasol rather than Bryant should have been named the Finals MVP against the Celtics in the second title run.

Pau ranks 10th in PPG, 7th in RPG, 17th in total points and 16th in APG. Along the way he formed a close bond and friendship with Kobe. Because of his performances in both the NBA and in international competition, Gasol will almost certainly be voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. And if Bryant had his way, after Pau retires from the NBA he will be the 11th LA Lakers player to have his jersey retired.