LA Lakers sack head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on play-offs
(Basketball news) After a disastrous campaign, the LA Lakers have sacked head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on the play-offs. The team won 33 matches but lost 49 and finished 11th in the Western Conference, with Vogel’s final game being a 146-141 overtime win over Denver Nuggets. Lakers' general manager Rob Pelinka said “This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court. Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship."
As things stand, the LA Lakers don’t have a frontrunner to succeed Vogel and are looking for a sixth full-time head coach since the legendary Phil Jackson retired in 2011. Besides Jackson, Vogel has been the only coach to have led the LA Lakers to a championship in 30 years. Speaking after the announcement, LA Lakers’ LeBron James said “I respect Frank as a coach, as a man. The partnership that we've had over the past few years has been nothing but just candid, great conversations. He's a guy who gives everything to the game."
Vogel joined the Lakers on a three year deal in 2019 and helped the team win the 2020 title in Orlando, Florida. He was given a contract extension at the end of the 2020/21 season and his side quickly earned the reputation for being one of the best defensive teams in his first two seasons. After finishing third in the 2019/20 season and first in the 2020/21 season, the team ended up in the bottom 10 both offensively and defensively and ranked 21st in the defensive rating.
In what was their seventh straight defeat, the Phoenix Suns defeated LA Lakers 121-110, missing out on the play-offs. The Lakers were considered one of the favourites in the Western Conference but their campaign has been a big disappointment due to various factors, especially injuries. The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook only played 21 matches and held a record of 11-10 in those games. Following the All-Star break, the Lakers lost 18 of 24 games with only Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers doing worse.
Franck Vogel is expected to find a new job soon, especially considering that he has a good record of winning a championship, representing teams such as Indiana, Orlando Magic and the Lakers and finishing his stint at the team with a 127-98 record.
James Harden continues to shine as the Sun get back to winning ways
(Basketball news) The Philadelphia 76ers continued their rise above the table as they won 123 - 108 against the New York Knicks. For the 76ers, James Harden scored 26 points, nine assists and nine, Joel Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds and Tyrese Maxey scored 25 points. The Sixers moved to 3-0 with Harden in the lineup and his dynamic duo linkup with Embiid has suddenly stamped the Sixers as legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference. For the Knicks, RJ Barett scored 30 points and Julius Randle had 24 points in a very unenterprising performance from them. With this result the 76ers moved within a win of the Bulls as they are currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference with a record of 38-23.
''I just wanted to come out there and show my love back,'' Harden said in his home debut.
''I feel like you can put me anywhere in the room and I can fit in,'' Harden said. ''Here is no different. Just see what you have and try your best to fit in. Be the best James Harden I can be in every aspect.''
''It felt like a playoff atmosphere,'' Embiid said. ''I've given a lot of credit to Philly fans over the years and they've always come through, win or lose.''
''I do the same job, the same work. It's just that more people notice,'' Rivers said. ''I think when you get a guy like James and Joel together with what we have, with all of our other guys, our guys sense it, too. Not the hoopla, though. It's that they have a real shot. You don't get many of these.''
''I just want us to lock into improvement. come in every day, put everything you have into it,'' Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''That's where our focus has to lie right now. We've got to get over the hump and close the games out. That's our challenge. Keep growing, keep getting better ,learn from mistakes.''
The Phoenix Suns got back to winning ways after the Pelicans had snapped their winning streak as they won 120-95 against the Portland Trail Blazers. For the Suns, Cam Johnson scored 20 points, Deandre Ayton added 18, Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder each added 15 points, with Bridges shooting 6 of 9 and the Suns became the first NBA team to 50 wins this season. For the Trail Blazers, Brandon Williams had a career-high 14 points as 4 of the 5 starters got into double digits but couldn’t really get going. With this result the Suns stayed on top of the Eastern Conference table with the best NBA record currently of 50-12.
''It feels good,'' Johnson said. ''Fifty is a big benchmark in this league, but now we want to get to 60.''
''My biggest concern is just trying to get some continuity with our new guys and the guys we had here,'' Portland coach Chauncey Billups said. ''That is the biggest thing for me. The problem is it's tough to rush that. You have to get it when it comes and keep chipping away at it.''
'We were moving the ball,'' guard Cameron Payne said. ''We played well. We've just got to keep it going.''
The other results were:
- Magic 114 - 122 Pacers
- Cavs 98 - 119 Hornets
- Pelicans 125 - 95 Kings
- Bucks 120 - 119 Heat
- Rockets 127 - 132 Jazz
- Nuggets 107 - 119 Thunder
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- Hawks vs Bulls
- Celtics vs Grizzlies
- Raptors vs Pistons
- Nets vs Heat
- Mavericks vs Warriors
- Spurs vs Kings
- Clippers vs Lakers
The NBA is back as Warriors kicked off the proceedings with an emphatic victory
(Basketball news) The Golden State continued from where they left off before the All Star break as they destroyed the Portland Trail Blazers 132-95. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry had 18 points and 14 assists as Klay Thompson also had 18 points for the Warriors, the Warriors at the end of the match had 8 players in double digits scoring. For the Trailblazers, Anfernee Simons had 24 points for Portland as they had won four straight going into the break. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 43-17 and sit comfortably in second place in the Western Conference table.
'It was a good way to kind of come back from the break and establish ourselves on both ends of the floor,'' Curry said.
''Steph was brilliant tonight,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ''I loved his patience and the way he ran the team tonight. He played a beautiful game.''
''(Curry) has always been able to pass like this. His scoring is so good it can get overlooked sometimes,'' Thompson said.
''I thought they played hard and they played well, they just came up against a juggernaut,'' Billups said. ''They kind of took off on us there, they had 39 points in the second quarter, that really hurt us and we could never really recover.''
The Phoenix Suns won their 8th consecutive match against the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-104. For the Suns, Devin Booker had 25 points, 12 assists and a career-high six steals as Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges each scored 21 points for the Suns, who have won 19 of 20. For the OKC, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led them with 32 points on his return as Rookie guard Josh Giddey, who had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. At this moment the Suns are the best team in the league by a mile and they are consistently winning matches for fun. With this result the Suns improved their record to 49-10 and sit on top of the Western Conference table.
''I thought Devin managed the game well,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said.
''I feel like we can only get better from this,'' Suns forward Jae Crowder said. ''Obviously, we've put ourselves in a position to have a cushion. But at the same time, we're playing for something. We're playing purposeful basketball each and every night.''
'Love playing with him,'' Giddey said. ''I think that chemistry is getting better and better over time. I think in a few years, we're going to be one of the best backcourts in the league. So growing with him is something I love doing.''
''The good thing is, we got that game out of the way,'' Williams said. ''I thought we had some rust in the pipes tonight, and we were able to get some of that out and get used to Book (Booker) playing some point.''
The other results were:
- Pistons 106 - 103 Cavs
- Nets 106 - 129 Celtics
- Timberwolves 119 - 114 Grizzlies
- Bulls 112 - 103 Hawks
- Kings 110 - 128 Nuggets
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pacers vs Thunder
- Magic vs Rockets
- Hornets vs Raptors
- Wizards vs Spurs
- Knicks vs Heat
- Timberwolves vs 76ers
- Suns vs Pelicans
- Jazz vs Mavericks
- Lakers vs Clippers
- Pistons vs Celtics
NBA: Lakers lose to the Trail Blazers and Warriors winning streak snaps
(Basketball news) The Lakers lost their second successive match against the Portland Trail Blazers 107-105. For the Blazers, Anfernee Simons scored 29 points and Jusuf Nurkic added 19 points and 12 rebounds as Portland snapped a six-game losing streak. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 30 points as Anthony Davis finished with 17 points. Before the trade deadline, Portland traded away three starters, among them was guard CJ McCollum, who went to New Orleans as the move broke up Portland's longtime backcourt duo of McCollum and Damian Lillard. With this result the Lakers stayed in 9th with a record of 26-30 as the Trail Blazers improved their record to 22-34.
''Man, it was great,'' Simons said. ''Just to see everybody playing well, coming together and being a good team. I mean, you can say what you want, but you've always got a chance when you've got LeBron and AD (Anthony Davis) on the team. So for us to get a win is big.''
''Every time we turned the ball over it was almost like pick sixes. We didn't get a tackle and they basically ran it in for a touchdown every time,'' James said. ''That's not the ingredients for winning basketball.''
''It always feels good to win, and in the fashion in which we did it - we did it together,'' Blazers first-year coach Chauncey Billups said.
''Every loss is different. Everyone is different and this one is definitely disappointing,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''I feel like we should've won this game. I'm disappointed that we didn't and we will get back to work and figure out why we didn't.''
The Utah Jazz ended the Warrior's 9-match winning streak with a 111-85 victory. For the Jazz, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Whiteside had nine points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks. For the Warriors, Steph Curry scored 16, Jordan Poole top scored with 18 points and Andrew Wiggins finished with 13 points as they ended their 9 match winning streak and victory also meant that this was Utah’s 4th straight win. With this result the Jazz improved their record to 34-21 and stayed in 4th as the Warriors stayed in 2nd with a record of 41-14 in the Western Conference table.
''It's been tough for me, but my whole life I actually like adversity because it shows you what a lot of people really think about you,'' said Whiteside, who has been playing behind Udoka Azubuike in Gobert's absence.
''They know the things that people say. That's sometimes a challenge for us, and they take it personally,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
''I thought Whiteside dominated the game. I didn't think we attacked in a very intelligent manner in the first half. We kept trying to score over the top of him and you're not going to do that. He had six blocks in the first half and then every one seemed to turn into a layup on the other end,'' Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.
The other results were:
- Cavs 105 - 92 Spurs
- Hornets 109 - 121 Bulls
- Thunder 98 - 117 Raptors
- Kings 132 - 119
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pistons vs Grizzlies
- Pelicans vs Heat
- Wizards vs Net
- Rockets vs Raptors
- Mavericks vs Clippers
- Suns vs Bucks
- Warriors vs Knicks
NBA: Bucks and Nets both lose as Terry Rozier shines
(Basketball news) The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the spirited Charlotte Hornets 103-99. For the Hornets, Terry Rozier shined as he scored 27 points, Ball scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, and Miles Bridges added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who have won six of eight games and improved to 12-5 at home. For the Bucks, Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 assists, and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 points, 13 rebounds. With this result the Bucks stayed in 4th in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 26-17, as the Hornets improved their record to 22-19 as they moved 8th in the standings.
“That is a highly difficult shot, but he makes it look effortless,'' Hornets coach James Borrego said. ''Melo has that uncanny ability to be going 100 mph, get off-balance and still be poised when he raises up. ... That's tough to do for a player who has been in the league 15 years, let alone a guy who has been in the league two years.''
''You are definitely concerned anytime you lose four out of five,'' Middleton said. ''And you never want to lose two in a row. You understand what the circumstances are (with players being out) and you never want to use that as an excuse. We understand what we're going through and everybody is going through. But we still have to go out there and compete.'
The Brooklyn Nets lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 114-108. For the Nets, Kyrie started his second game as he could only manage 22 points as Kevin Durant led all scorers with 28 points and 10 rebounds for them as it was his 19th straight game with 20 or more points, the second-longest streak of 20-point games in Nets history.. For the Trail Blazers, Anfernee Simons had 23 points and 11 assists, as Robert Covington had 21 points, including five 3-pointers and McLemore had 20 points and five 3s. for the Blazers, who saw all five starters score in double figures. The Blazers were again without their star backcourt of Damian Lillard out with lower abdominal tendinopathy and CJ McCollum was out for 14 games after a collapsed lung. With this result the Blazers improved their record to 16-24 as they stayed 10th in the standings on the other hand the Nets stayed 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a record of 25-14.
''I think RoCo did a good job of playing him in the second half,'' Simons said. ''So that was big for us to slow him down and just kind of play team defense. We've been playing very hard, we've been making a lot less mistakes on defense. That's been helping us.''
''Certainly nobody in the world thought that we would win this game with the guys that we have missing, even though they're missing some important players too,'' Portland first-year coach Chauncey Billups said. ''I'm more happy than anything for our team, to be honest. We've suffered a lot of losses in this building, a lot of bad losses.''
''It felt like I made a few good moves, but now it's just getting back in that NBA action of that athleticism and catching up to that speed, that's really what it is at this point, I feel,'' Irving said.
''Second half, they hit 3s in that third quarter, they hit 3s in that fourth quarter. You gotta give them credit for knocking down shots but I thought we were there, intentions were good,'' Durant said. ''We've just got to finish it a little better, finish plays a little better.'
The other results were:
- Pistons 126 - 116 Jazz
- Knicks 111- 96 Spurs
- Celtics 101 - 98 Pacers
- Rockets 91 - 111 76ers
- Kings 108 - 109 Cavaliers
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- Wizards vs Thunder
- Raptors vs Suns
- Grizzlies vs Warriors
- Bulls vs Pistons
- Pelicans vs Timberwolves
- Clippers vs Nuggets
NBA: Warriors extended their winning run as the Rockets hand the Brooklyn Nets a shock defeat
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors won their 21st match of the season with a 104-94 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Curry scored 22 points and moved within nine 3s of tying Ray Allen's record, Steph Curry is closing in on Allen's mark of 2,973 regular-season 3s made from 1996-2014. Draymond Green had 10 rebounds, eight assists and five points, and Jordan Poole scored eight of his 20 points in the third quarter as Golden State started to pull away. Otto Porter Jr. contributed 15 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Warriors improved to 21-4. For the Trail Blazers Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists before fouling out late. Nassir Little scored 18 points for the Blazers, Norman Powell scored 26 points but went 1 for 7 from deep, and the Blazers made just 8 of 30 on 3-pointers as the Trail Blazers missed injured allstars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. With this result Warriors move to the top of the Western Conference.
''To make that many 3s in one game obviously has never been done before, so it was just a routine night,'' coach Steve Kerr said of the 16 Curry needed coming into the game to top Allen. ''He made six, which is nothing for him. I don't think I ever did that in my entire career one time.''
''I feel like it will be special no matter what because I'll make it special and it will be an amazing experience for me and my teammates,'' Curry said this week
The Brooklyn Nets suffered a shock 114-104 loss to the Houston Rockets, who subsequently are showing an uprise in form. Eric Gordon scored 21 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter and Garrison Mathews added 19 as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven and one of the in form teams in the NBA. Although James Harden had 25 points for the Nets, NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge both sat out for this match, Cam Thomas had 18 points for Brooklyn and Mills added 12 points. The loss snapped a six-game road winning streak for the Nets, whose nine road wins are tied with the Suns for most in the NBA. With this result Nets still remained on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-8.
“The adversity that we went through prior to this point has made it even sweeter,'' coach Stephen Silas said. ''We're feeling pretty good about ourselves.'
''When you beat a team like that it means something,'' Mathews said. ''This streak's been a huge boost to our confidence. It's been a huge boost to our morale.''
The Miami Heat finally snapped their losing streak with a 113-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Caleb Martin scored a career-high 28 points, he shot 9 of 12 from the field, including 6 for 8 on 3-pointers, as the Heat tied a franchise record with 22 3s against the defending NBA champions. Kyle Lowry had 22 points and 13 assists, and Max Strus scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter for Miami, which snapped a three-game home losing streak. For the Bucks Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and Khris Middleton finished with 20 for the Bucks. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had 15 points. With this result the Heat’s improved their record to 15-11 and are currently in 4th position and as for the Bucks their record stands at 16-10.
The other results were:
- Pistons 116 - 119 Wizards
- Hornets 106 - 110 76ers
- Cavaliers 115 - 92 Bulls
- Pacers 122- 102 Knicks
- Raptors 109 - 110 Thunder
- Grizzlies 96 - 104 Mavericks
- Timberwolves 104 - 136 Jazz
- Pelicans 114 - 120 Nuggets
- Kings 142 - 130 Magic
- Clippers 114 - 111 Celtics
The fixtures for tomorrow are;
- 76ers vs Jazz
- Grizzlies vs Lakers
- Spurs vs Nuggets
NBA: Utah Jazz moved up to third in the Western Conference as Denver Nuggets breeze past the Miami Heat
(Basketball news) Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 129-107 as Mitchell scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson added 22 points for Utah, which used quick passes and spacing to make 19 3-pointers and shot 53% from the field a game after making a season-high 20 3s. The Jazz matched their season high with 46 made field goals. Anfernee Simons scored a season-high 24 points and Jusuf Nurkic also had 24 as the Trail Blazers fell to 1-10 on the road this season. After making two of his first three shots, Lillard only made two more buckets on nine attempts. Lillard has gone 16 for 45 over his last three games. Utah's defensive plan centered on getting the ball out of Lillard's hands to make someone other than him or CJ McCollum make shots. With this result Utah improved their record to 14-7 as they moved up to 3rd in the Western Conference.
“Aggressive decision making,'' Mitchell said. ''When you start to think too much, that's when the turnovers and the mistakes come in.''
“Our guys were unselfish and got off the ball when they needed to. As you spread it out and make some shots, all of the sudden lanes to the basket open up, too,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
'We're such a different ball club on the road,'' Portland coach Chauncy Billups said. ''We play with this casualness a lot of times, with no urgency. That's dangerous. And at home, you can do that and a team can make a run and you get your crowd behind you and you can overcome a lot of times at home. On the road, you can't do that.''
Denver Nuggets breezed past Miami Heat 120-111 as they were short handed with injuries. Nikola Jokic returned and scored 24 points, Aaron Gordon added 20 and the Nuggets snapped their longest losing streak in nearly six years, Bones Hyland returned from injury to score 19 and Will Barton added 14 for the Nuggets, who had dropped six straight. Jokic hadn't played in the last four of those because of a wrist injury but finished with 15 rebounds and seven assists. Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Max Strus scored 19 points and Caleb Martin added 18 for the Heat, they got 17 points and 14 assists from Kyle Lowry, which was without its two leading scorers Jimmy Butler who was out with a bruised tailbone and Tyler Herro missed the game with what the Heat called general body soreness. With this result when under .500 as they improved their record to 10-10, the Nuggets moved up to 9th in the Western Conference.
''That's behind us,'' Jokic said. ''We need to move on to the future. We won the game and that's the most important thing.
“Our defense is better than that,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''I think they played extremely well. And in those pivotal moments in the course of the game, it seemed like they made every shot, every play”.
The Chicago Bulls went back to winning ways as they won 133-119 against the Charlotte Hornets. Chicago shot a season-high 59.6% from the field and had five players score in double figures. Vucevic had a season-best 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, and Zach LaVine, a game-time decision because of an illness, finished with 25. Lonzo Ball helped the Bulls get back on track after dropping three of four. He had 16 points and eight assists and LaMelo Ball had 18 points and 13 assists as both the brothers went head to head for the third time. For the Hornets, Terry Rozier scored 31 points and Gordon Hayward had 22 for the Hornets, who dropped to 0-2 on their four-game trip. With this result Bulls improved their record to 14-8 as they reclaimed their second place in the Eastern Conference.
“I mean we've been talking about the NBA since we were little boys,'' LaMelo said. ''Just going out there and playing against him, always a dream come true, for real.''
''Obviously we are brothers and it's all love off the court,'' Lonzo Ball said. ''But on the court, like I said, he got a job he got to do, I got a job I got to do.
“I felt like I was getting my rhythm, and then I got COVID and then I had to sit out,'' Vucevic said. ''But obviously tonight was a good game for me. Felt great to make some shots.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 101 - 96 Magic
- Rockets 102 - 89 Thunder
- Timberwolves 100 - 98 Pacers
- Spurs 116 - 99 Wizards
- Mavericks 96 - 114 Cavaliers
- Clippers 104 - 123 Pelicans
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Raptors vs Grizzlies
- Nets vs Knicks
- Kings vs Lakers
- Trail Blazers vs Pistons
- Suns vs Warriors
Kyrie Irving needs to be a more responsible role model amidst vaccination debate
(Basketball news) The influence that some of the biggest athletes in sport have on the wider public has never been more powerful than it is today. Cristiano Ronaldo has 355 million followers on Instagram, the most on the social media platform. The younger generation have always wanted to emulate their sporting heroes and with the existence of social media, that urge has only magnified tenfold.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is currently in the middle of a rather public and unhealthy debate about COVID-19 vaccines. Irving is one of the biggest names in the NBA ever since he was the number one draft pick in 2011, he’s more than an athlete, he’s an icon, philanthropist and one of the six vice-presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Fittingly, Irving has also admitted to being a “conspiracy theorist” which may explain the underlying reasons behind the current debacle he finds himself in. He has apologized previously for his “earth is flat” comments and has been sharing conspiracies about microchips in the Moderna vaccine on social media.
Taking into account his esteemed position not just as a basketball player but also as a social media influencer, it’s fair to say that Kyrie Irving has been a poor role model for the younger generation. While everyone is entitled to make a “personal choice”, Irving has been publicly vocal about his decision to not take the vaccine, easily influencing the millions of people who look up to him. Publicly denouncing the vaccination can have dangerous, potentially lethal consequences for those who he can influence. COVID-19 is well and truly prevalent in our societies and it’s clear that Irving is swimming against the tide with 95% of NBA athletes already vaccinated.
Former basketball superstar Michael Jordan has publicly sided with the NBA and their COVID-19 protocols. In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” Jordan said “ I am totally in unison with the league, and I think everybody, you know, has been speaking about the vaccinations. And, you know, I’m a firm believer in science and, you know, I’m going to stick with that and hopefully everybody abides by whatever the league sets the rules. I think once everybody buys in, we’re going to be fine.”
Jordan isn’t the only one as fellow Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar told Rolling Stone, “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their team-mates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research" while Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said getting vaccinated was a “simple decision”.
While the NBA has not implemented a vaccine mandate for players, labelling the public issue as a ‘personal’ decision for each player, the problem lies when the decision being made is not “personal” anymore. Irving took to Instagram Live to say “Do what's best for you, but I am not an advocate for either side. I am doing what's best for me. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I'm judged and demonised for that, that's just what it is, that's the role I play.”
Irving is willing to pay a heavy price for his decision, $380,000 per game to be exact and with 41 home games in a regular season, the total amounts to $15.6m. However, the biggest price that could be paid might be from all the individuals who choose not to get vaccinated because their basketball hero isn’t getting a jab either.
Basketball player Pau Gasol announces retirement after 23 year long playing career
(Basketball news) Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol has retired from the sport after a long and successful career that has spanned 23 years. The 41 year old won two NBA Championships and three Olympic medals in his illustrious career. Speaking from an opera house in Barcelona, Gasol said “I'm going to retire from professional basketball. It's a difficult decision after so many years, but it's a decision that I really thought over." In attendance were his former teammates and family members, including his wife, his brother Marc and his young daughter.
Gasol made his professional debut in 1998 for Barca as a centre after which the 7 foot 1 inch player was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001. The Spaniard was selected in the All-Star team on six occasions and won the NBA title with the L.A Lakers in 2009 and 2010. He has also played for Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and spent four months at Portland Trail Blazers despite not playing due to injury.
Gasol had a successful playing career for his country, winning the World Championship in 2006 and European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He helped Spain win a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 and guided his country to a bronze medal in 2016. Despite being injured for almost two years, Pau Gasol made a full recovery to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where Spain was eventually knocked out of the quarter-finals to eventual winners USA.
While announcing his retirement, Gasol spoke about his battle to overcome the stress fracture he suffered on his left foot in 2019. "Not many doctors thought I'd be able to recover but I'm a person who likes challenges and I wanted to fight to do the improbable. I got to the point where I was relaxed about my career ending, I was at peace, but, when things went well, I took the decision to sign for Barcelona, which wasn't in my plans. I managed to win the league with the club where it all began and where I made my debut. It's been very special."
The 41 year old also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with whom he won two NBA titles. “I'd have liked him to have been here today but sometimes life is unfair. He taught me to be a better competitor, a real winner, I considered him like an older brother.”