Former NBA All-Star Pau Gasol confirms return to FC Barcelona

Mar 9, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Pau Gasol (17) applauds his team against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol confirmed his return to FC Barcelona on Tuesday.

“I’m very happy to announce that I’m coming home and that I’ll soon join the ranks of Barca’s basketball team,” the 40-year-old former NBA star posted on Twitter, in English and Spanish.

“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 the rhythm of competition. I’m happy to return to the club where I began, and I’m excited about this new opportunity.”

Gasol will play the remainder of the 2020-21 Liga ACB season with Barcelona while preparing to play for Spain at the Tokyo Olympics.

The six-time All-Star and two-time champion has been out of the NBA since March 2019, when he underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot. He signed with the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent in the following offseason but never played for the team, instead opting to continue to rehabilitate the injury.

In 1998, Gasol was a teenager when he joined Barcelona before jumping to the NBA in 2020, where he spent 19 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks.

In 1,226 career NBA games, he averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Gasol is one of just four NBA players to record more than 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks in a career, joining Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and 2020 Hall of Fame inductees Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

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Gasol has won two Olympic silver medals and one bronze with Spain.

–Field Level Media