- The NBA, Spanish national team and ACB League player, who spent last year with FC Barcelona, confirms his decision to retire from professional basketball.
- At a press conference held at the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Gasol announced his future projects related to philanthropy, supporting athletes and investing in businesses related to sport and well-being.
It’s a thoughtful decision. You have to know how to change gears. I wanted to end up playing and having fun, not having to quit because of an injury, not on crutches. Thank you to all of you who helped make playing one more year with FC Barcelona and participating in my fifth Olympic Games a reality ??. With these words, Pau Gasol announced his retirement from professional basketball. From now on, he will concentrate his efforts on the defense of the athletes ?? rights, carrying out philanthropic projects and investing in businesses related to sport (both professional and amateur) and well-being.
The press conference took place at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. It was attended by members of his family (including his brother Marc Gasol), friends and personalities from the world of sport such as Joan Laporta, Jorge Garbajosa, Juan Carlos Navarro, Felipe Reyes, Rudy Fernández and Raül López.
Pau Gasol began the press conference by recalling the distance he has come since being diagnosed in May 2019 with a scaphoid stress fracture of his left foot. ?? A lot of people thought I shouldn’t play anymore, but I wanted to fight for the unlikely, ?? he said. After a lot of hard work and sacrifice and the help of a great team of professionals, he managed to join FC Barcelona in March 2021, win a league title and compete in his fifth Olympic Games.
After announcing that the reason for his press conference was his permanent retirement from the courts, he thanked everyone who accompanied him throughout his life. ?? When I was young, I was told, ?? the most important thing is not to go, is to stay there, ?? but I never tried to maintain myself. I tried to be better, setting no limits and not letting anyone put them on me. Many people have influenced my life. ??
He began by thanking the media, who accompanied him throughout this trip. ?? I want to thank you for the support and affection you have shown me as a player and as a person, and I hope this relationship continues from here on out. ?? He also devoted a few words to the Fans, which gave him overwhelming energy, always.
He then shared several memories of the people linked to his early basketball career and the coaches he met throughout his career that taught me the importance of reading, learning and being interested in something else.??
He then thanked his teammates of the different teams he played for, some of whom were present. He made a special mention to his brother Marc. ?? When we played basketball when we were kids in our grandparents’ garden ?? house, it always motivated me to see how you competed, how you wanted to beat me. Thank you very much for being so dedicated. ??
He also had words for the Gasol Foundation and his tireless work to reduce childhood obesity rates. During his words for The family, as the golden generation of the Spanish national basketball team is known, he made special mention to Juan Carlos Navarro, who had taught him ?? the meaning of friendship, ?? and to the Basketball Federation for the work accomplished during all these years.
A round of applause followed her special mention of Kobe bryant: ?? I would have liked it to be there ?? But it was not to be. ??
Visibly moved, he thanked his parents and siblings for having always supported him and ended with a few words for his wife and girl ellie.
AND NOW WHAT IS NEXT?
In the second part of his speech, he spoke about his future. ??I’ve been preparing this moment for years, even if you can never be prepared enough for it. I invested in a professional team that helped me position myself, create paths, projects ?? I want to thank them because I feel very proud ??.
From now on, its activity will focus on these off-piste activities. The main one is support athletes through organizations of which it is a member, such as the IOC athletes ?? Commission or the Spanish Sport Advisory Council (CADE) of the Spanish Sports Association (ADESP) and sports-related projects such as the Pau Gasol Academy in Santander. In the past, he was also vice-president of the APNB (National Association of Basketball Players).
Second, Pau said he would now have more time to devote to his philanthropic work. More specifically, projects to promote healthy lifestyles of Gasol Foundation, an entity he created in 2013 with his brother Marc and which aims to prevent childhood obesity. In addition, since 2013, he has been a UNICEF ambassador, and since 2019, Gasol has been UNICEF Global Champion for Zero Childhood Nutrition and Obesity. He spoke of his desire to contribute to the evolution of Spanish national plan against childhood obesity.
Finally, Gasol expressed its interest in continuing to develop its facet as a investor in companies related to sport, health and well-being. ?? I want to invest in sport, in health, in the evolution of things. ?? He referred to companies such as Therabody, overtime or better.
?? Beyond the titles, the medals that I was able to win, what is really important is everyday life, to take advantage of the moment and to enjoy it with the people you love. Is that what I’m going to try to do from now on? he said. And he finished: It’s not goodbye, we’re just going ahead. We have a future ahead of us. This is my dream, and this is what I will be working on. ??
During the event, journalists were encouraged to use hashtags #GraciasPau, #GraciesPau or #ThankyouPau on their social networks to gather messages of support for Pau after his retirement.
After the question and answer session, the event ended with the song Misteriosamente hoy from Pau Donés.
ABOUT PAU GASOL
In 2001, Pau Gasol became the second Spanish player to join the NBA; in 2002, the first non-American to be named “Rookie of the Year”,? and in 2006, the first to be selected to participate in an All-Star Game. He was also the first Spaniard to win the NBA twice with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2021 he returned to Spain to play in the ACB league in the ranks of FC Barcelona, the basketball club where he started and with which he won three Spanish championships: 1999, 2001, y 2021.
It is also a symbol of the Spanish national basketball team and leader of its Golden Generation. He won two Olympic silver medals, a bronze medal, a Basketball World Cup and three Eurobasket (in 2017 he became the top scorer in the history of this competition). That same year, he was named vice-president of the National Basketball Players Association, of which he was a member until 2019.
In 2021, he played his fifth Olympic Games, where he was elected member of the Athletes?? Commission of the International Olympic Committee. He also defends athletes ?? rights as a CADE member (Spanish Sport Advisory Council), part of the body of the Spanish Sports Association.
In 2013, he created the Gasol Foundation, with his brother Marc, who operates in Spain and the United States, and promotes healthy habits to end childhood obesity. For their work, they received the NAOS Strategy Award from the Spanish Agency for Food Security and Nutrition in 2019. In the same year he was nominated Global champion of nutrition and zero childhood obesity by UNICEF, an entity for which he was already an ambassador since 2003.
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