The Lakers are mostly famous because of the history of legendary defenders and centers they have appointed. The most underrated yet significant position is the power forward.
The Lakers had their fair share of the greatest power forwards. Out of all of them, if we had to choose the best, it would undoubtedly be Pau Gasol.
Pau Gasol was born in Barcelona to Agusti and Marisa. Both of his parents were basketball players. Gasol used to play as a center during his childhood. He began playing for FC Barcelona’s junior team at the age of 16.
He won both the 1998 Albert Schweitzer Tournament and the 1998 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. On January 17, 1999, Gasol finally made his debut. He was named as the Most Valuable Player in the Spanish National Cup’s 2001 Final championship game. He then entered the NBA draft.
Gasol’s 18-year long career was filled with success and glory. He played for many teams like Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonia Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, and Portland Trail Blazers.
Memphis Grizzlies (2001–2008)
In Gasol’s first season, he became the first foreign player to win “Rookie of the Year.” He made NBA records fairly quickly. In 2003, he got the 1,500th rebound of his career against the Orlando Magic and scored his 3,000th career point against the Boston Celtics.
Gasol became the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder in his fifth year with the Grizzlies. On February 1, 2008, Memphis traded Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers (2008–2014)
Gasol’s first game as a part of the Lakers was with New Jersey Nets. He sprained his ankle in a game against the New Orleans Hornets. Despite his injury, Gasol continued to play and improve himself in the upcoming seasons.
In the Lakers’ opening game, he scored 36 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocked shots. He recorded a career-high 19 rebounds in a series-clinching win against the San Antonio Spurs in the same season. Gasol also became the first Spaniard to reach the NBA Finals.
He continued to perform fiercely in every season up until the 2012-2013 season. He had tendinitis in both knees and was later diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Gasol was struggling to maintain his form due to his deteriorating health. He left the Lakers in 2014.
Chicago Bulls (2014–2016)
Gasol’s 2014 started by signing a deal with Chicago Bulls. He managed to outperform his previous records. Gasol recorded a career-high nine blocks and 17 points and nine rebounds in 2015 in a match against Denver Nuggets.
On March 7, 2014, Gasol, at 35, recorded a triple-double since Kobe Bryant did.
San Antonio Spurs (2016–2019)
In 2016, Gasol signed a deal with the San Antonio Spurs. He could only play against Detroit Pistons before having a finger injury.
Gasol appeared in the first nine games of the 2018-2019 season. He had to miss the rest of the games of a fracture on his right foot. Later on, the Spurs had to let Gasol go.
Milwaukee Bucks (2019)
In 2019, Gasol signed another deal with Milwaukee Bucks to get back on the court, But his season ended right after three games due to a left ankle injury. ‘
Portland Trail Blazers (2019)
After Milwaukee Bucks, signing a deal with Portland Trail Blazers was a desperate attempt to get back in the field. Portland Trail Blazers waived him without playing a single game.
Notable Awards and Achievements
Pau Gasol had won numerous awards during his career. He was the two-time NBA champion in 2009 and 2010. He won the NBA All-Star six times.
Apart from these, he also won medals for the Spanish National Team.
Throughout his career, Pao Gasol never gave up despite barriers. He continued to strive for success and kept on setting records.
After considering his performance and record stats, we have chosen him as the Lakers’ best power forwards.