Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol announced on Twitter that he has decided to sign with FC Barcelona to play in the EuroLeague for the remainder of the season. The six-time All-Star last played in the NBA in 2019 before suffering a stress fracture to his left foot. He even contemplated retirement back in 2020 when the league went on a hiatus due to COVID-19.
Yet after reports surfaced he was planning on playing again -- which he initially shot down -- he's made it official that he'll be returning to the team where he started his professional career back in 1998.
"I am very happy to announce that I'm coming home and that I'll soon join the ranks of Barca's basketball team. I want to put my skills and experience at the disposal of the club at a key point in the season, while at the same time making progress in my physical condition and getting into rhythm of competition.
I'm happy to return to the club where I began, and I'm excited about this new opportunity: I hope to contribute to the first team very soon. I want to thank Barca and its technical staff for making it possible to join them."
Gasol played the first four seasons of his professional career with Barcelona, before making the jump to the NBA and being selected No. 3 overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies on draft night.
Before even joining the NBA, Gasol was already a proven winner, having won two Spanish League championships and being named Spanish League finals MVP. He's also won two Olympic silver medals with Spain as well as a bronze over his illustrious professional career. Although he's well past his championship playing days, the knowledge and winning mentality he'll be able to bring to Barcelona will be invaluable.
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