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 6th pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
6. Marc Gasol (current team: Toronto Raptors) Age: 35
Marc Gasol is the younger brother of Pau Gasol and also started his professional career with Barcelona. After three seasons with Barcelona, Gasol joined Girona Basket in 2006. In his second and final season Gasol got named the ACB MVP.
In 2007, The LA Lakers drafted Gasol. He never played a game for the organisation and got traded to Memphis in 2008, where he became an NBA star player. He became the cornerstone of the Grizzlies’ beloved “Grit and Grind” teams with his high IQ and intense playing style. Together with Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Mike Conley, Gasol made the Grizzlies a tough team to beat.
Sadly, the Grizzlies never became a successful team, with zero Final appearances. Even though he was stuck with the Grizzlies, Gasol made the best of every season. The Spaniard won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.
In 2019, Gasol was traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for C.J. Miles, Jonas Valanciunas and others. Gasol might have been the missing link for the Raptors in the past years, as Toronto won their first NBA Championship in 2019. Together with Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol will be remembered as a Raptor forever.
Gasol is currently still a member of the Toronto Raptors, still playing more than 27 minutes per game at the age of 35. Marc Gasol’s career averages have been very solid up ’till now: 14.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 3.4 APG. If Gasol would not have been traded by the Lakers in 2008, he might be a multiple NBA Champion today.