Pau Gasol has announced his retirement from basketball, ending a distinguished career that lasted more than two decades and earned him two NBA titles, three Olympic medals and a world championship gold with Spain's national team.
The 41-year-old, one of the NBA's best international imports, had already announced his farewell from international basketball in August after Spain lost to the United States in the quarter-final of the Tokyo Games, his fifth Olympics.
Gasol had been with Spanish club Barcelona since February. His career had stalled before that because a left-foot stress fracture that lingered and kept him from playing for nearly two years.
"I'm going to retire from professional basketball," Gasol said on Tuesday. "It's a difficult decision after so many years, but it's a decision that I really thought over."
The retirement announcement was made in an event at the Gran Teatro del Liceo opera house in Barcelona attended by former teammates and family members, including his wife, young daughter and brother Marc.
Gasol won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, in 2009 and 2010, and averaged 17 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1,226 regular-season games with five NBA teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks.
He was the No. 3 pick in the 2001 NBA draft, being selected by Atlanta and traded to Memphis.
Gasol last played in the NBA with the Bucks in 2019. He signed with the Portland Trail Blazers that year but never got to play.
Gasol won a world championship title with Spain in 2006, in addition to European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
He helped Spain win Olympic silver medals in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London, as well as a bronze in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Gasol recently won an election to represent athletes for the next seven years at the International Olympic Committee.
He joined an IOC membership list drawn variously from European and Middle East royal families, international sports bodies, business leaders and 12 athletes elected by their peers.
Australian Associated Press