Pau Gasol, Spain’s catalyst for success

MADRID – Pau Gasol has been the catalyst for the ‘boom’ of successes in Spanish basketball in the first two decades of the 21st century, the beacon and guide of the Spanish team that needed your contribution to make the definitive leap in quality for hang medals in European, World and Olympic Games.

Pau began as the center that every coach craves, especially in Spain where players over 7 feet (more than 2.13 meters tall) were scarce.

The eldest of the Gasol brothers It was the banner, the flag to be raised, to drive away once and for all all the complexes of Spanish basketball.

In Spain there were always good basketball players, but the absence of a dominant insider hindered the chances of victory in the big championships. With Pau he went from zero to almost infinity.

His successes in the NBA, helped directly in the Spanish team. He was feared and respected, in equal parts, by all and the Spanish team was the perfect breeding ground to enlarge everything and conform his legend.

Pau was in a higher echelon due to salary, importance, influence and play, but he was one more, with his peculiarities, but one more. Something very easy to say, but very difficult to understand.

Due to his physical characteristics and his training, Pau Gasol always understood that he had to take care of his body with care and his trusted physiotherapist Joaquín Juan was one of the national team, although he only took care of the center of Sant Boi.

No other player could take his physio to concentrations and matches, Pau yes. But what could be understood as discrimination by the ego of the rest of the players, was never a problem.

Everyone knew that Pau was special and that he should be treated in a special way. It was not the whim or the fickleness of the star on duty. If the others needed a few hours of preparation or care, for example, Pau always worked harder to be ready to perform in favor of the group, the team.

And although he was always the protagonist of successes, he never made individual ostentation, on the contrary he always circumscribed them to the group, to the family, to the national team.

Pau leaves basketball as an active player, but far from being a sad moment, it should be time to congratulate him and congratulate us all for the two wonderful decades he dedicated to Spain and basketball.