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Born into a family with longstanding basketball history, Pau Gasol has been melting our hearts in the right places ever since he began making appearances on the court. The athlete launched his basketball career in the year 1998 and he has played for four basketball teams – FC Barcelona (1998–2001), Memphis Grizzlies (2001–2008), Los Angeles Lakers (2008–2014), Chicago Bulls (2014–2016) and he is currently representing San Antonio Spurs in the basketball league since 2016. Over the course of his successful career, Pau has surpassed 11, 000 rebounds and 20, 000 points, rising to become the 34th ‘NBA’ star to have played over 40, 000 career minutes. Did we mention that the basketball player boasts a grand career timeline? Yes, the basketball player is well-loved for having excelled in the game over the years despite the challenges that come with the game. To his credit, he is a two-time NBA champion (he own the two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers), a six-time NBA All-Star, the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002, and a four-time All-NBA selection (2x on the second team and 2x on the third team). On the international scene, Gasol holds a FIBA World Cup title, an Olympic bronze medal, 3 EuroBasket titles with the Spanish basketball team, and two Olympic silver medals.
The San Antonio Spurs center/power forward was born to athlete parents – Agusti Gasol (father) and Marisa Sáez (mother) on the 6th of July 1980, in Barcelona, Spain. Growing up, the athlete was not just only interested in basketball but also in football and rugby. He would later switch his interest to basketball after growing tall. Initially, he was never interested in pursuing a career in basketball as he wanted to be a doctor. Upon completing from high school, Pau joined the Barcelona to study medicine, however, he dropped along the way due to his involvements in basketball.
Gasol began representing Barcelona’s junior team in fixtures at the age of sixteen. He also won both the 1998 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship as well as the 1998 Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Following his brilliant performances at the competitions, Pau moved to Barcelona’s senior basketball team. In the Spanish ACB League’s 1998–1999 season, the power forward played 25 total minutes and went on to average 13. 7 minutes per game in the ACB the following year.
Pau entered the NBA draft and was subsequently selected by the Atlanta Hawks as the third overall in the first round in the 2001 NBA draft. The Hawks is said to have traded Gasol’s draft rights to the Memphis, Tennessee-based basketball team, Memphis Grizzlies, in exchange for American professional basketball player Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
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