As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honour some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season. European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today we take a closer look at our 4th pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
4. Pau Gasol (no current team) Age: 39
Pau Gasol was born in Barcelona in 1980. Initially, Pau wanted to become a doctor. Later, as he grew tall, he started to play basketball. In 1998, Gasol joined the senior team of Barcelona. By 2001, Gasol was named the MVP of the tournament when Barcelona won the Spanish national cup.
He got drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the same year (3th pick overall), and got traded to the Grizzlies immediately after. In his first year with Memphis, Gasol became the first non-American to win the Rookie of the Year award in 2002.
After having a great first season in the NBA (17.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG), Gasol soon became the best player the Grizzlies have had in a while. The Spaniard got traded to the Lakers in 2008 in exchange for Kwame Brown, some other players, and… Marc Gasol, his younger brother, who won a NBA championship in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors. Talking about two absolute greats.
Pau Gasol won his first championship in his second year with the Lakers, after beating the Orlando Magic. In 2010, the Lakers went back-to-back, as Gasol won his second NBA Championship along Kobe Bryant.
The two-time NBA champion became a free agent in 2014 and joined the Bulls. Getting older, Pau suffered a setback as we saw a decrease in his statistics, playing for the Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks. Currently Gasol has no team, as he’s working out individually. We surely hope to see the 39-year-old for one final season.