Pau Gasol is coming back to Barça! And he’ll be here until 30 June 2021. Now aged 40, and two decades after he departed for the US and after 18 seasons and 1,362 games in the NBA, winning back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 and appearing in six All Star Games, he is returning to the team he played for from 1999 to 2001.
Gasol has not played a game since March 2019 because of a foot injury, but will finally be doing so under the orders of Sarunas Jasikevicius.
More than 100 games
Gasol played his first three games for Barça in 1998/99, but 1999/00 was his breakthrough campaign under Aito Garcia Reneses. He won two ACB leagues (1999 and 2001) and the Copa del Rey (2001) in a total of 108 domestic and European appearances.
He was outstanding in the 2000/01 season, being named MVP of the Copa del Rey and the ACB league final, playing in the same team as Sarunas Jasikevicius and Nacho Rodríguez.
Success in the NBA
When he was just 21 years old, Gasol was the number 3 pick in the NBA draft and started out in the biggest league in the world in 2001/02 at the Memphis Grizzlies. In 2008, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he enjoyed his most glittering era of all, winning championship rings in 2009 and 2010.
He left Los Angeles in 2014, going on to play for the Chicago Bulls (2014-16), San Antonio Spurs (2016-19) and Milwaukee Bucks (2019), his final club in the NBA. At the Bucks, he featured alongside Nikola Mirotic, who he also played with for two years at Chicago.
In total, Gasol has played 1,226 regular season and 136 playoff games in the NBA, for a total of 1,362.
Club expresses gratitude
FC Barcelona is delighted that Gasol has decided to sign and return to the place that has always been his home. The club is pleased and honoured that Pau will be wearing the blaugrana colours once again.
Impeccable for the national team
Gasol has also been the big star of Spain’s national team throughout all of these years. Since his debut in 2001, he has won the European Championship three times (2009, 2011 and 2015), one World Championship (2006) and collected three Olympic medals (Silver: 2008 and 2012; Bronze: 2016).