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Ex-Lakers great, two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol retires from basketball

Ex-Lakers great, two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol retires from basketball
Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol (L), shown Sept. 25, 2010, teamed up with Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant (C) and point guard Derek Fisher (R) to win two NBA championships during their time together with the Lakers. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Former Los Angeles Lakers great Pau Gasol, who captured two NBA titles and a world championship gold medal with Spain's national team, announced his retirement from basketball Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Gasol already announced his departure from international competition in August after Spain lost to the United States in the quarterfinals of the Summer Games in Tokyo, which marked his fifth Olympics.

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Gasol had played for Spanish club Barcelona since February. His professional career had stalled before that due to a stress fracture in his left foot that sidelined him for nearly two years.

"I'm going to retire from professional basketball," Gasol said. "It's a difficult decision after so many years, but it's a decision that I really thought over."

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Gasol made the announcement during an event at an opera house in Barcelona that was attended by former teammates and family members.

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Alongside Basketball Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant, Gasol -- a 7-foot big man -- won back-to-back NBA titles with the Lakers in 2009-10. Gasol also earned a world championship title with Spain in 2006, along with European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

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Gasol averaged 17 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1,226 regular-season games with five teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks.

Gasol was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft, being selected by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Grizzlies. He last played in the NBA with the Bucks in 2019.

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