Ben Maller: “Does Pau Gasol deserve to have his number retired by the Lakers? I am shaking my head ‘NO’, he does not. First of all, there are way too many numbers retired and it cheapens the number retirement. It needs to be clear and obvious, and I’m willing to be the adult in the room when it comes to this because there are a lot of people who aren’t using a clear mind. Think about this like playing darts. In order to have your number retired you have to hit it right in the middle of the bullseye. Pau Gasol does not hit the bullseye, and 'coming close' should not be good enough for most people who use common sense, but these teams are desperate. Gasol was not elite as a Laker. True dominance is First Team All-NBA, and he was never that. He never reached that rarified air of First Team All-NBA with the Lakers. He averaged less than 18 points, less than 10 rebounds, and less than 4 assists a game. THAT’S the standard to get your number retired?? Championships are a team award; they’re not an individual award. You also need staying power and the reality is that Gasol played 18 seasons in the NBA and only 6.5 of those seasons were with the Lakers. The reason he’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame is pretty much everyone ends up in the Hall of Fame in basketball. The Pro Basketball Hall of Fame is the easiest one to get into and it’s a laughing stock. Why would you do this if you’re the Lakers? You don’t need to do this. This is something a team like Sacramento or Memphis would do. You’re the Lakers! It’s simple – it’s easy money and another example of how pathetic the Lakers are. It’s 'Heartstrings Marketing 101'. The Lakers are looking at another dumpster fire of a season, so when the present and the future blow, which is what the outlook is for the Lakers, you flash back in time and reminisce about the good ol' days. The reality is two words – PETTY CASH. Jeanie Buss cannot compete with the other owners when it comes to 401k. The Lakers are a nickel and dime franchise. They’re a franchise that took out a loan at the beginning of COVID. They’re the franchise that took a loan out from mom and pop businesses, and only when they were ratted out did they try to give the money back and said ‘oh no, it was a mistake.’ If nobody had called them on it, they would have kept the money. That’s the Lakers – it’s a cheap franchise and it’s an embarrassing franchise with Jeanie Buss, a terrible owner. The team is going to suck, they have no future, so let’s bring Gasol in, he’s a second-line player, we will retire his number... It cheapens the number retirement.” (Full Audio Above)
Listen to Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio discuss the recent news of the Los Angeles Lakers announcing that they will retire the #16 jersey of two-time champion Pau Gasol, as Maller believes it’s ‘embarrassing’ that the Lakers are going to reward a ‘second-line’ player in this way.
Check out the segment above as Maller details why Gasol getting his number retired by the Lakers ‘cheapens’ the honor, and why the Lakers just seem like a lost franchise desperate to relive their glory days.