Should LA Lakers Eventually Retire Pau Gasol’s Number?

Pau Gasol’s contributions as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers warrant a conversation about how he should be remembered.

More to the point, the Purple and Gold will have to decide whether or not to retire his number once his career comes to a close. Gasol’s free-agent status means his days as a Laker might very well be over.

In February, he wrote on his website: “My decision will be based purely on sporting considerations. It couldn’t be any other way. I want to be on a team with a real chance of winning a ring and where I can help to compete for it. I would like to win another championship. The financial side comes second at this stage of my career.”

If this is truly the end of this marriage, memories alone might not do Gasol justice. Raising his number to the Staples Center rafters might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s far from a lock.


History and Prestige Not on Gasol’s Side

It takes a lot for the Lakers to immortalize players in their stadium. And by a lot, we’re talking Hall of Fame credentials.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, have a look at the people who have been recognized through a banner hanging at Staples Center:

The banners feature the names of great luminaries who all played a big part in the history of the league.

For instance, Chick Hearn made the cut because of his longtime association with the franchise as a radio broadcaster. Indeed, Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 37 years. He was responsible for play-by-play announcing from 1965 to 2002, which allowed him to call the games of every great L.A. Lakers player.

The names on those banners that belong to former L.A. Lakers, Hearn saw them all. Thus, he might be the most qualified person in Lakers history when it comes to judging players.

Former Philadelphia 76ers execu...

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