Cover Image for Los Angeles Lakers are retiring a $120 million superstar’s jersey over that of 5x champion and herald of the Minneapolis Lakers 

Los Angeles Lakers are retiring a $120 million superstar’s jersey over that of 5x champion and herald of the Minneapolis Lakers 

Arun Sharma
|Thu Aug 18 2022

Pau Gasol is getting his Jersey retired officially by the Lakers – but do his contributions warrant it?

7 years, 3 straight finals, and 2 championships. On paper, the stats look great enough to potentially warrant an HoF induction. Hall of Fame, but not a jersey in the rafters. Players of that pedigree are usually few and far apart, like Kobe Bryant or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pau Gasol was great, but his underlying numbers do not line up to push him beyond the line of mortality into the immortal.

As a Laker, he averaged a solid 18 points and teetered around that 10 rebounds mark. He had some great shots and was a solid second option. One of his best moments is that “telepathic” connection in the finals. Pau is just like LeBron James in a sense. Both of them have solid outputs, but not enough to say they bleed purple and gold.

There are a lot more in the history of the Lakers that deserve recognition but seem to have been forgotten. Some of the younger fans would not even know who Gary Payton is, if not for his son being moderately famous on the Golden State Warriors.

A jersey retirement should be special – this one somehow seems forced and reactionary considering how close he was with Kobe.

Also Read: “Kobe Bryant would tell you the difference between 06 and 09, was Pau Gasol!”: Kevin Durant takes shots at the Lakers legend’s legacy during his prime

Pau Gasol is a great player no doubt – but George Mikan and Derek Fisher take precedence over his contributions in LA

Derek Fisher and George Mikan are much more deserving of having their jerseys up along with the legends. Mikan especially, having led the Lakers to their first 5 championships. 5 trophies that the people of LA proudly celebrate. Number 99 should have been the first number up there, in honor of the late Mr. Basketball.

If the Lakers take credit for the championships won outside of LA, then they should honor the man who brought them those championships. They cannot be picky about what they respect about their history.

Derek Fisher is one player a lot of fans tend to overlook when it comes to championship runs. He was THAT guy when it came to big moments and was a very point guard who ran the show. He was a perfect tandem for Kobe, who could focus solely on getting his points.

But hey, an opinion of the minority should not be taken as a testament. Congratulations to the Spaniard on his entry into the annals of one of the biggest organizations in sports history!

Also Read: “No no, I’m coming!”: When Kobe Bryant met Pau Gasol after his introductory Lakers press conference after the Spanish legend joined the Black Mamba

About the author
Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Jack of all sports, master of none. But still, better than master of one. Except NFL. And MLB. And Fencing.

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