The Spaniard. The Man with the Mane from Spain. A two time NBA champion. We call Laker forward/center Pau Gasol all these things, but will we one day call him a Hall of Famer? With his impressive skill set, ability to change a team’s identity and his play not only in America, but also across the globe, Gasol one day deserves to call himself, “The Man from Spain in the Hall of Fame.”
Pau Gasol, statistically, matches up with other great forwards. Over his illustrious 11 year career, Gasol has averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game. Hall of Famer Karl Malone averaged 25 and 10, while sure fire Hall of Fame Inductee Tim Duncan seasonal averages are 20 and 11.
Keep in mind, Gasol is only 32 years old. Now, that’s not prime age for an NBA star, but he can still put in work for at least four or five more seasons.
Having Gasol on your squad can only improve your team’s chances of winning in the league. He turned a hapless Memphis Grizzlies team into a playoff team within three years of his arrival. And I think we all understand what he did for the Lakers.
He helped to take Los Angeles, a team on the outside looking in, to the 2008 NBA Finals. Once that team was healthy and ready to go, he was a pivotal piece in the Lakers 2009-2010 back to back championship run. With the help of Pau Gasol, the city of Los Angeles was brought from the depths of mediocrity back to the legends of old. That’s a true mark of a Hall of Famer.
Not only does Gasol play great basketball in America, he plays great basketball all over the world. Playing for his home country of Spain, Gasol has brought his country to the top of international basketball. With numerous European Player of the Year and FIBA European Player of the Year awards, he is well established outside of America, and those are only some of his individual awards. As for Spain, Gasol has helped deliver multiple gold medals at EuroBasket, while also winning silver medals in the Olympics. He plays basketball worldwide and plays it at a high level, just like any future Hall of Famer should.
As you can see, Gasol has made his mark on basketball. From bringing championship banners to Staples Center, to helping win medals at the Olympics, Gasol put his footprint on the history of the game. With his stats and list of personal awards alone, he should have a good enough case. Pau Gasol might not be the greatest power forward to ever play the game, but he has the skill and the greatness to be a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame.