KEY POINTS

  • Pau Gasol named his newborn after Kobe Bryant's daughter Gianna
  • Gasol remained close with Bryant's family over the years
  • He last played for the Trail Blazers but was waived due to an injury

Pau Gasol may be out of the league at the moment, but he has not officially retired yet. He can walk away from the game for good because he is already set for life with his $220 million total career earnings. 

Gasol started his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, which traded for him in the 2011 NBA Draft. The move paid off as Gasol was named the first European player to be named Rookie of the Year. The 7-footer possesses skills that are rare for big men in the league at the time: he can dribble, shoot, defend and pass. The national team mainstay played for the Grizzlies for seven seasons, becoming the franchise leader for points, blocked shots, rebounds, free throws made and field goals made, per Celebrity Net Worth. However, his career would dramatically change when he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008.

In Los Angeles, Gasol teamed up with Kobe Bryant and their tandem produced two NBA titles. As a Laker, the center made the All-Star in three straight seasons. His seven seasons with the Lakers earned him three All-NBA team selections and $116 million total earnings, which is significantly higher than the $36 million earnings he received in Memphis, a report from Spotrac revealed. 

Pau Gasol and Hasheem Thabeet Former top pick Hasheem Thabeet it attempting an NBA comeback, working out with the Raptors Rockets and Pistons. Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Hasheem Thabeet #34 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Getty Images/Harry How

His friendship with Bryant continued over the years even after Gasol was traded to Chicago in 2014. When Bryant tragically passed away in January 2020 due to helicopter crash, Gasol was among those who were heavily affected. He continued to spend time with Bryant’s widow and children and even named his newborn daughter Elisabet Gianna, after Kobe’s daughter Gianna who passed away with him in the crash. According to ESPN, Vanessa Bryant expressed her well wishes for the couple on the former Lakers’ Instagram account.  

The Barcelona, Spain native last played for Portland Trail Blazers, but his stint was cut short with an injury. After the Lakers, he went on to suit up for the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. 

Gasol is already set for life and achieved awards and championships other players can only dream of. As part of the Spain national team, he won the gold medal in the 2006 Olympics and was consequently named the tournament MVP. Gasol is also a 2-time Sanish league finals MVP and 2-time FIBA Eurobasket MVP, as reported by CBS Sports.

When not busy playing, the former All-Star lends a hand to help raise funds for charities. In 2009, he supported the charity drive for the benefit of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It will not be a surprise should the former Laker make the Hall of Fame in the future, given his contributions and achievements on and off the court.