It won’t be easy for the Spanish national team to win the 2011 EuroBasket Championship even though they’re loaded with NBA talent. Pau Gasol knows that and said as much prior to Spain’s opening day victory over Poland.
According to reports the Spanish needed all 29 of Gasol’s points plus another 23 from Juan Carlos Navarro who also dropped a clutch-three late. Poland, without any NBA talent to speak of as Marcin Gortat isn’t playing, kept it close losing by just five. Spain’s 83-78 victory might just be an aberration as they’re the favorites to ascend to European supremacy.
In his brief European experience this summer Gasol has resembled the Pau of old. Not the Pau we saw cower in the playoffs. Still, Gasol says he’s got nothing to prove.
I find that hard to believe.
No doubt Gasol wanted to get the taste of Dirk out of his mouth the second the season ended. Whatever it was that was plaguing Pau he wasn’t the same man that went 7 games against the C’s the year previous.
For Spain the journey is just beginning. For Pau the proof will be in the pudding. Maybe he doesn’t have anything to prove to himself but Pau has plenty to prove to Laker fans. Taking the Euro title and getting that winning feeling back would be a great start.