Barcelona, Mar 25 (EFE).- Two-time NBA champion and six-time All Star center Pau Gasol was introduced on Thursday as a new Barcelona player and said he didn’t want to “finish” his career with an injury: “that’s why I’m here.”
“I return here with enthusiasm and the same ambition with which I left 20 years ago. I am no longer the player I was then, nor 10 years ago, but I take it as a special opportunity to come back home and help a team that is in great shape,” the Spaniard said.
Surrounded by his parents, Marisa and Agustí, his wife Catherine and his daughter Elisabet Gianna, Gasol attended the event at the Palau Blaugrana, in a ceremony chaired by Joan Laporta, the new president of the Catalan club.
During his speech, Laporta recalled that Gasol had won almost everything as a player, but he lacks a title “and we all know what it is,” he pointed out, encouraging him to achieve it this season.
“Hopefully. One of my aspirations is to help the team win the Euroleague, which is the title you say I am missing,” Gasol continued.
He will wear his classic number 16 jersey for Barcelona, the same number he used during most of his time in the NBA.
Gasol, 40, hasn’t played an official game in two years because of a serious foot injury. He has been training with his new team since March 18.
“We are working and progressing well. With good feelings and happy about where we are,” he said.
For this reason, he did not want to put a date on his return to the court or to say whether it would be possible to continue playing beyond the Tokyo Olympics this summer. EFE