Pau also is the one responsible for the only time in NBA history where a brother was traded for a brother. Yes, he has a younger brother who also plays basketball. It is not hard to spot him on the court because how often do you see giant 6 foot 10 inch tall Spanish basketball players on the court? Not often. He is from Barcelona, Spain and although he was tall and athletic from an early age, the sport was not his first choice in life.
Growing up he loved to read, played Tchaikovsky on the piano, had the largest desk in the school and brought home great grades. Not the background of your typical basketball player. The news in 1991 of Magic Johnson’s decision to withdraw from the Lakers due to acquiring the Aids virus, inspired him to move forward in greater interest in a career choice for himself. He wanted to play professional basketball but was also interested in the medical field where he could somehow contribute to end incurable diseases like Aids.
It was very hard to spend the amount of hours a day needed to study medicine and to practice basketball. A choice had to be made and since his youth could only be valuable on the court he decided to close the medical books till he couldn’t play basketball. Most players retire the game by the time they are 35 years old and can live a very wealthy lifestyle from their dribbling days on the court.
Gasol performed well in the Spanish Professional League and he entered the NBA draft in 2001. He expected to be the ninth or tenth pick and instead was the third pick by the Atlanta Hawks. He was immediately traded to the Memphis, Grizzly’s and his parents and younger brother Mark moved to Tennessee with him. By then Pau was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and his brother Marc began playing in this country as well.
Within hours Pau was on a plane to Los Angles. Gasol meshed well with the team leader Kolbe Bryant and the team went on to win back to back NBA Championships. Occasionally, Pau has to face off with the Grizzly’s and his brother Marc. Last summer during the NBA lockout the brothers teamed up to help bring the European Basketball Championship to their home country of Spain.