Pau Gasol has officially entered the Hall…
The 43-year-old Spanish former professional basketball player, a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA team selection, has been enshrined into Basketball Hall of Fame alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker during a ceremony held at Symphony Hall on Saturday.
“I want to give a special mention to those first Europeans, who came here, across the ocean, who took a chance,” said Gasol, who fell in love with the sport when the 1992 Olympic Games were held in his hometown, Barcelona. “I was 12. It changed my life. The Dream Team showed us how basketball could be played.”
In 2002, Gasol was the NBA‘s first international rookie of the year.
Gasol played his last two healthy seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.
Gasol thanked the late Kobe Bryant, his teammate on two Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship teams, who died in a 2020 helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
“I wouldn’t be here without you, brother,” Gasol said. “I wish more than anything that you and Gigi were here today with us. I miss you and love you.”
The inductees received their Hall of Fame rings and jackets Friday at a news conference.