Pau Gasol i Sàez is a professional Spanish basketball player who is currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Gasol weighs 250 lb and is 7 feet in height. He plays both center as well as a power-forward position.
Gasol started his career with his school basketball team. He started playing along with the junior team of Barcelona when he was 16. This team won the 1998 FIBA Europe Under-18 championship as well as the 1998 Albert Schweitzer tournament.
In the 1998-99 Season, as part of the senior team, Gasol played only 11 total minutes and in the next year, he had an average of 15 minutes per game. He had an average of 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in less than 24 minutes per game in the last season in Europe. In 2001 the Spanish National Cup championship was won by Barcelona and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) was Gasol. After the 2001 Season in Barcelona Gasol was selected in the NBA draft of 2001 and was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 2001-02 Season was the debut season for Gasol Pau. He won the Rookie of the Year award with the Grizzlies and was chosen in the All-Rookie first team. He was the only player in the team to participate in all 82 games in the season and he had an average of 17.6 ppg and 7.9 rpg.
In the 2005-06 Season, Gasol became the all-time leading rebounder of the franchise. For the third time in the history of the Grizzlies as well as Gasol the playoffs were reached. However the team was defeated in the very first round and could not win even one game with the opponent being Dallas Mavericks. Gasol was chosen on 9 February 2006 to take part in the 2006 NBA All-star game at Houston in Texas for the Western conference as a reserve center. During this period the Western conference had four players in the top ten for blocked shots, assists, rebounds and points out of which Gasol was one. Gasol is reputed to be the first Grizzlies player and the first Spanish basketball player to reach the All-star game.
On February 1, 2008, Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the Lakers first win over the Denver Nuggets, he contributed thirty-six points, sixteen rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks. The Lakers had made it to the playoffs and this was Gasol’s first trip beyond the first round of the playoffs as his team, made it to the Conference finals after defeating the Utah Jazz. On May 31, 2008 he recorded a career high 19 rebounds in a NBA Finals clinching win against the San Antonio Spurs.
Gasol scored his 10,000th career point in a win against Utah Jazz in January 2009. The Lakers went on to defeat Orlando Magic in the 2009 finals, securing Gasol his first NBA championship. The Lakers won the championship again in the next season with a victory against the Bolton Celtics. Sporting News named him the 15th Smartest Athlete in sports in 2010. In March 2012, Gasol became co-captain of the Lakers, along with Kobe Bryant.