Madrid, Oct 6 (IANS) Spanish basketball legend Pau Gasol has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 41.
Gasol made the announcement on Tuesday evening at a press conference after a career which lasted 22 years and took him full circle as he began his career at FC Barcelona before moving to the NBA and then returning to Barcelona, whom he helped to the Spanish Liga ACB title last season.
“I am here to communicate what you could have anticipated, that I am going to retire from professional basketball. It is a difficult decision to take after so many years and it is a decision that I have thought carefully about.”
“You have to be able to change gear and to be able to enjoy things. I wanted to end my career playing and not on crutches and with operations,” said Gasol, who has been troubled by a long-standing foot injury in recent seasons.
During his career he played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks, winning the NBA title in 2009 and 2010, reports Xinhua.
He represented Spain over a 20-year period, starting in the 2001 Eurobasket and ending at the 2020 Olympic Games, where his playing career came to an end in Tokyo this summer.
Gasol led his country to Olympic silver medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, as well as taking a bronze medal at Rio 2016. He also helped Spain win the 2006 World Championship title, as well as three gold medals, two silver medals and two bronzes in the Eurobasket.