Pau Gasol is the greatest player to ever come out of Spain, and is among the top five European players of all-time.
Debuting in the NBA for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the 7’ 1” Center, becoming the first European to win the Rookie of the Year. An All-Star for Memphis in 2006, Gasol never had a year where his PPG was lower than 17, his RPG were lower than 7, and his Blocks were lower than 1.5 per Game. Gasol was low-key one of the more complete players in Basketball, but was not noticed on the national level due to playing in Memphis. This changed when he was traded to the Lakers during the 2007-08 Season.
Joining Kobe Bryant, Gasol had his perfect dance partner. Gasol kept his scoring numbers strong, and was able to increase his rebounding stats, posting three straight 10-plus RPG years (2009-10 to 2011-12), earning three straight All-Stars (2008-09 to 2010-12), and most importantly, helped lead the Lakers to Titles in 2009 and 2010. Gasol was never going to be under the radar again, and Los Angeles treated him like royalty. Gasol appeared to slip, and he signed with Chicago in 2014, but proved he was far from done.
Gasol went to two more All-Star Games with the Bulls, both of which saw him break the double-digit mark in Rebounds per Game for the fourth and fifth time. Overall, Gasol was a four-time All-NBA Selection (two Second Team and two Third Team), and he would also play for San Antonio and Milwaukee.
If you are not convinced about Gasol’s Hall of Fame candidacy, don’t forget that Springfield does care about International accomplishments, and Gasol has a treasure chest full of those. This includes two Olympic Silver Medals, an Olympic Bronze, a World Cup Gold, and three EuroBasket Gold Medals.
If Gasol is not a first ballot Hall of Famer, we would be shocked.