Since his debut in the Eurobasket 2001, with the National Team Pau Gasol has always worn the bib number 4. It has been his fetish number, with which he has won 11 medals. The last player to use the 4 in the National Team before Pau was Alberto Angulo, who wore it at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Alberto was no longer in Ankara and Istanbul, in 2001, so Pau did not have to negotiate for it. Four.
But in the training teams Pau could not get the 4. In his first official tournament with Spain he wore the 14: they were the 6 games he played in the pre-European U18 in 1997. A few months later, already in the European, he wore the 15, which was the one he visited in the rest of his international matches before reaching the Absolute: in the Junior World Cup in 1999, and the pre-European and European U20 in 1999 and 2000.
When he went to his first call-up with the Absolute, at the time of distributing the numbers Pau requested to wear the 16 with which he had debuted with the first team of FC Barcelona. But it could not be: at that time in the official FIBA ??matches and championships the historical regulations of numbers still governed, only from 4 to 15.
So he asked for the 15 that he had worn in previous years with the U19 and U20. But he already had an owner: the current president of the FEB, Jorge Garbajosa, who had chosen him instead of the 7 that he had worn a year before, that of his debut as an absolute international at the Sydney Olympic Games, in which on the 15th he Roberto Dueñas wore it.
Without the 16 or 15, Pau opted for the other number that he had worn with the training teams, the 14. But he also had an owner: the captain, Alfonso Reyes.
So the circle was narrowing, and in the end, among those offered by the team delegate, he ended up staying with 4. For nothing special. But he was the one who ended up wearing until his last championship with the National Team.
And there is only one question left: will a player choose him in the next championships, or will the weight of the 4 be too much? In a few months the doubt will be cleared.