The official announcement of the full class won’t come until this weekend, but Adrian Wojnarowski has reported what longed seemed to be a formality: two-time Lakers champion and six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of a star-studded 2023 class.
Joining Gasol, among others, will be Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, his longtime head coach, Gregg Popovich, and former Spurs assistant and WNBA legend with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars, Becky Hammon, according to Woj. Those names and the rest of the class will be officially announced during the NCAA Final Four this weekend in Houston.
2023 has been a year full of career honors for Gasol, who of course additionally had his No. 16 jersey retired by the Lakers earlier this month. He also received the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award at All-Star weekend.
In addition to his aforementioned titles and All-Star appearances, Gasol was also named to four All-NBA teams, won Rookie of the Year in 2002, ranks ninth and eighth all-time in offensive and defensive rebounds for the Lakers, respectively, and shot the 10th-highest percentage from the field of any Laker ever (52.2%).
For those with an appreciation for catch-all/advance stats, Gasol also ranks seventh in career box plus-minus, seventh in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) and eighth in win shares per 48 minutes in Lakers history. The Lakers, famously, have some pretty good history, so Gasol’s inclusion that high in so many metrics is a testament to his greatness.
So long story short, Pau Gasol was very good at basketball. He very much deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and it’s nice to see him get in on the first try. That he is also one of the all-time good guys in sports history just adds to the joy.
Congrats, Pau. Thanks for always making Laker Nation proud.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.