Former Lakers Star Suggests He’d Be Interested in Return to L.A.


Getty Los Angeles Lakers' 2010 title team.

After one of the most impressive and long careers for a European player in NBA history, Pau Gasol could retire any day. In his 20 years in the league, Gasol’s most memorable stint was when he helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to two championships. He’s been on a lot of teams, but he’ll always be remembered as a Lakers.

He’s currently a free agent and hasn’t made a decision on retirement. Though Los Angeles doesn’t need a big man right now, Gasol wouldn’t mind ending his career with the purple and gold.

“Seriously considered [finishing my career with the Lakers]? It’s not that I’ve had many opportunities,” Gasol told Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints. “It’s something that has been on my mind. Kind of like the potential of maybe finishing or playing my last year with the Lakers would be great. It’s appealing if you will, but the opportunity never really kind of presented itself in a serious official manner.

“I have a great relationship and love for Jeanie and the Lakers organization and the city of Los Angeles, which is always going to remain extremely meaningful to me no matter what, but we’ll see. But not really.”

Would the Lakers Bring Him Back for Title Run?

The idea of Gasol coming to the Lakers and finishing his career is certainly romantic. However, it seems unlikely – unless he’s willing to wait until next season. With the current suspension of league play, it’s doubtful the team has a desire to make changes on the roster. Plus, the Lakers’ team chemistry has been praised this season.

Gasol is far from a distraction and would bring a lot of veteran leadership to the team, but they’d have to make a spot for him. That could push somebody like Jared Dudley or Quinn Cook off the roster. The Lakers might not be too interested in doing that considering Gasol is no longer the player he once was.

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Gasol Is Focusing on Getting Healthy

Gasol’s career has earned a potential jersey number retirement with the Lakers and maybe even a Hall of Fame induction. Despite that, he’s still having a hard time calling it a quits. He has not played this season and only played three games last season. He’s recently been hampered by injuries, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to make his way back to the court.

“My plan initially was to get healthy, heal and be able to play in the Olympics,” Gasol told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “But the Olympics has officially been pushed to July 23, 2021. Now see what happens with professional sports, professional basketball in my case, and when things kind of resume. … Then if I can get healthy, we’ll see what’s next and we’ll see what that next looks like.”

Gasol is turning 40 in July and there’s not a lot of players that old currently in the NBA. If he can get healthy, it’s possible he still has some productivity left in the tank. That said, he’ll probably have to wait until next season to get the chance.

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