NBA / ACB
You can’t know what will happen tomorrow, but you can control how you would like face what comes.
When he was 16, Pau Gasol was recruited by the Junior team of FC Barcelona, the club’s training ground for future basketball players, where he was on the Spanish Junior Championship team.
Pau quickly became a young star and led FC Barcelona to the European Junior Championship two years later.
During the 2000 season, Pau moved up to the first team and starting then he never looked back.
In the 2001 King’s Cup, and under the attentive gaze of more than 40 NBA talent scouts, Pau turned in a stellar performance. He was MVP of the tournament and led Barcelona to win the Spanish championship (ACB League).
Just six months after securing that starting position with FC Barcelona, and after scoring an average 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, Pau was selected in the NBA draft. He was the first Spaniard to achieve this at such a young age, and to have done so after such a short time with his club’s senior team.
In 2021, after 18 seasons in the NBA, Pau returned to Barcelona, the city where he was born and where he began to play professional basketball. In February of 2021 he joined Barça under coach Saras Jasikevicius, who had been a teammate during his first stage with the club. It won the League that year and played in the final of the Euroleague. That same year he announced his retirement from professional basketball.
Pau was selected on the third round of the 2001 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, who ceded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he played six and a half seasons. Pau thus became the first non-US player to be chosen in such an early round of the draft at the time. He still wasn’t yet 21 years old.
His brilliant first season earned him the NBA 2002 Rookie of the Year award. At the time, he was the only non-American player to do so.
In 2006, he would be selected for the All-Star Game, the first Spaniard ever to be chosen. In his last season at Memphis, he averaged 20.8 points per game, his highest mark.
Los Angeles Lakers
In February of 2008 he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he formed a great combination with Kobe Bryant, who would later say that Pau was one of the three players he most enjoyed working with in his whole career. At Los Angeles, Pau helped the Lakers to three consecutive NBA finals (2008-10), of which they won two NBA Championships (2009 y 2010). He became the first Spaniard to win an NBA ring, which was immediately followed by a second one.
During his stay in Los Angeles, Pau was called to play in three more All-Star Games.
In 2012, Pau received the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Prize for his support of different charitable works.
On July 18, 2014, Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls.
He became a key factor in the team and in January of 2015 had the best game of his career, scoring 46 points and making 18 rebounds. He finished the season as NBA leader in double-doubles, with 54.
Playing with the Chicago Bulls, Pau was selected to play in two more All-Star Games. The one in 2015 was special because for the first time he was a starter and was in the initial jump ball with brother Marc, the first time two brothers had started this game.
San Antonio Spurs
In July of 2016, Gasol signed with the San Antonio Spurs, coached by Gregg Popovich.
Gasol appeared in a total of 168 games with San Antonio, with an average 10.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 22.4 minutes.
During the 2017 All-Star game, in New Orleans, he became the first non-American to be chosen as a member of the Executive Committee of the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association), the NBA players’ union.
On March 3, 2019, Gasol signed with the Milwaukee Bucks with two aims: to help the team win the championship and to pass on some of his experience to the younger players. He couldn’t be with them in the playoffs because of a stress injury to his left foot.
Portland Trail Blazers
On July 25, 2019, Gasol firmó con los Portland Trail Blazers. But in November of 2019 he reached an agreement with the team to give up his place to another player: he had to continue rehabilitation treatment for his left foot.