Tonight the Memphis Grizzlies make a stop in Staples Center. Fresh off a demoralizing demolition of Golden State, the Lake Show is already playing with championship focus early on. Tonight the focus will be on the opening tip where two brothers square off.
Taking center stage will be the renewed brotherly rivalry shared between Pau and Marc Gasol.
When Mitch Kupchak pulled the trigger on the trade that added the final piece of the championship puzzle, most were crying foul. While Marc Gasol might not be the global icon his older brother is, he certainly is making that trade seem a little less lopsided than previously thought (Kwame Brown notwithstanding).
Coming off a career year, Marc Gasol is making a name for himself as one of the NBA’s up and coming big men. A 7-footer with legit post game, the younger Gasol is dispelling a lot of myths about European bigs. The Barcelona native is a beast on the boards averaging 11 a game, while also being a defensive stalwart in the middle. He’s got a soft shooting touch but won’t shy away from contact in the paint.
Perhaps instead of learning that tough lesson from Kevin Garnett in the finals a few years back all Pau needed to do was go on-on-one with his little bro more often. Marc has quickly adapted to the physical style of play in the NBA and is thriving in it.
Give GM Mitch credit too. After all he was the one that brought Marc to the NBA in the first place. Sure, Kupchak never thought drafting one Gasol would lead to acquiring another but he sure has played his cards right.
Naturally there are always bragging rights on the line but there is little doubt that both of these brothers value winning above all else. Pau has proven himself to be a champion. His competitive nature was on display in Memphis years before his younger half arrived in the same city.
Beyond the irony of their Grizzly connection, the Gasols are also linked by their service to the Spanish national team, playing for a country that boasts of the best hoops in Europe. A family with this type of shared success is a rarity in any sport. Now all that remains is for Marc to grab hold of one of those rings Pau has in his collection.
Survey says that Memphis won’t be hanging any banners in the near future but with Gasol Part Deux as a building block there is hope for a playoff filled future.
So, without further adieu. Let’s play the feud!