Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol Living the Basketball Dream

Manu Ginobili and Pau GasolTwo of the most interesting characters in the NBA during the coming season will be Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol. Neither are from the USA, but these foreign imports have become part of the NBA furniture over the last 15 years. Now that their careers are in twilight, what will they offer through the 2016/2017 season?

Gasol’s move to Texas means both he and Ginobili will line up for the San Antonio Spurs this campaign, the franchise keeping up its position as the team for classy veterans.

Team USA mega-coach Mike Krzyzewski says that both Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol are in Basketball heaven due to their experience, still excellent play, and feel good factor from their respective national teams.

Ginobili is in a bittersweet phase at the moment after retiring from the Argentina national team this summer. The 2016 Olympics tournament was something of a disappointment, but the national hero leaves the team when there is plenty of hope for the future. Of course, Ginobili led the Argentine’s to gold in the Athens Olympics in 2004, the most recent nation to break the USA monopoly.

Gasol has never won the Olympics with Spain, but he has led the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ to other international successes. He was a leader in the Spanish team as it claimed the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro earlier in the month. He has not retired from the national team but is now an elder statesman of the team. Pau Gasol is certainly one of the best European basketball players of all time.

A coach who knows a thing or two about Olympics hoops is Mike Krzyzewski, long-time Duke Head, and multiple gold medal winners while helming Team USA. Speaking to SiriusXM NBA Radio, he said Manu and Gasol have nothing to prove or lose:

“Well both Manu and Pau, they’re in basketball heaven. They’re going to be Hall of Famers. They represented their country and our sport, the world sport of basketball, in the best, best way. Their commitment to their country and excellence in basketball cannot be surpassed.”

“I know I told Manu that I’ve never competed against a fiercer competitor than he.”

Well said, indeed both Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol are assured their position in the game and are shoe-ins for the Hall of Fame. Gasol was Rookie of the Year in 2002 and is one of only two non-American players to take that NBA award. He is a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA selection. He is a two-time championship winner with the LA Lakers.

As well as 2004 gold medal, Ginobili has clinched four NBA championships with the Spurs and made the All-Star teams in 2005 and 2011. In 2008 he was the NBA sixth man of the year, and the Argentine remains only one of two players to have won the Olympic Gold, NBA Championship, and the Euroleague. No wonder he ranks as number one among the all-time greatest players from South America.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login