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Pau Gasol inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame and caps off a legendary career

When a player starts a career in the NBA, he dreams of the Hall of Fame.

Also with titles, of course, but the entry into the Hall of Fame is the most significant of all the recognitions that can be achieved.

It is the culmination of the journey, the ultimate achievement. And that is what Pau Gasol has achieved as of this Sunday.

The player from Sant Boi has become the first player in history to join the most select club in sport and he did it surrounded by his family, his parents Marisa and Agustin and his brother Marc, and presented by Toni Kukoc.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should also have been present but Pau himself said that the legendary centre was unable to attend the ceremony because he was unwell.

"It's a huge honour," Pau said in his remarks. "This is a testament to the support, guidance and inspiration that so many have given me during my basketball journey."

Pau had words earlier for the Croatian player who was in charge of introducing him, Kukoc. "If you told me that one day I would not only meet Kukoc but also be inducted into the Hall of Fame I wouldn't believe it. And yet, here we are."

Pau turned to his parents to thank them for having been 'guilty' of being today living a dream: "Many have contributed to me being here today, but no one has done it like my family", and especially had words with his brother Marc, remembering the initial jump in the All Star or their triumphs together with the Spanish national team, as well as the fact of having been the only brothers exchanged in a transfer in the history of the NBA.

Kobe Bryant's memory

Of course, everything about Pau Gasol could not miss the memory of his 'other' brother, Kobe Bryant, the player with whom he won two rings with the Lakers and established a very special friendship.

"In my time in L.A. I was able to meet the person who raised my game like nobody else, who taught me what it takes to win at the highest level, who showed me how hard you have to work and the mentality you have to have to be the best. I wouldn't be here without you, brother. There's nothing I wish more than to have you and Gigi with us today. I miss you and I love you," said an emotional Pau. Kobe's widow Vanessa was in the audience.

As part of his speech, Gasol referred to players like Drazen Petrovic, Arvudas Sabonis or Fernando Martin as "pioneers and idols" in European basketball and also gave a lot of importance to teammates like Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker, also in the same promotion, the great moment that international basketball lives today in the NBA.

The Spanish national team was, of course, included in Gasol's emotional words in his introduction to the Hall of Mame in Springfield. And he personified that stage of his life in Juan Carlos Navarro, whom he described as "a player with a special talent".

After the retirement of his Lakers jersey, in a ceremony that for the general public was perhaps more spectacular, has come his induction into the Hall of Fame, which for any player starting out in the game is an unattainable dream.

Pau is now a Hall of Famer, the highest level anyone in basketball can achieve. His journey, his legendary career, culminates here.

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