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Lakers Season Countdown: 16 days, Pau Gasol

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In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 16 days until the regular season begins, with one of the greatest International players.

Who wore it the best: Pau Gasol

(Credit: National Basketball Association, Getty Images)

Pau Gasol was selected with the 3rd overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He was then traded on draft day to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. After 6 and a half seasons in Memphis, Pau was traded to the LA Lakers before the trade deadline of the 2008 season. The Lakers immediately became favorites in the Western Conference. In a trade some have called one of the most lop-sided in recent history, Pau was dealt to the Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and the Lakers 2008 & 2010 first round draft picks.

In his Lakers debut, 'The Spaniard" put up 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Lakers made it to the Finals in Pau's first season with the team but fell to the Celtics in 6 games. The next two seasons would be different and Pau would help lead the Lakers to two straight NBA Championships in 2009 & 2010. Pau is a 5-time All-Star, 2-time NBA Champion & the 2001 Rookie of the Year. He is one of the most decorated international players to ever play in the NBA. He has helped the Spanish National Team earn 2 bronze medals, 4 silver medals & 6 gold medals in International play. After a few down seasons in Los Angeles that featured a few new coaches and several injuries, Pau signed with the Chicago Bulls after becoming a free agent before the 2015 season.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Pau Gasol

7

2008-14

17.7

9.9

3.5

0.6

1.4

35.7

Who wore it last: Pau Gasol

See above.

#16 - Who has worn it:

Johnny Jorgensen (1949)

Bob Harrison (1950-1954)

Dick Garmaker (1956-1960)

Nick Mantis (1960)

John Salley (2000)

Pau Gasol (2008-2014)