Marc Gasol Sáez (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈmaɾɣ ɣəˈzɔɫ]; born January 29, 1985) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted 48th overall in the 2007 NBA draft and went on to sign with the Grizzlies where he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2013. He is a two-time All-NBA Team member and a three-time NBA All-Star.
Gasol has been a regular member of the Spanish national basketball team since 2006. He has won two Olympic silver medals, a FIBA Basketball World Cup title, two EuroBasket titles, a EuroBasket silver medal and EuroBasket bronze medal. The 7'1" center is the younger brother of fellow NBA player Pau Gasol.
Early life and career
While he spent almost all of his childhood in the Barcelona area, Gasol moved as a teenager with his parents to the Memphis suburb of Germantown, Tennessee in 2001, after his older brother Pau was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and then had his rights traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol played high school basketball at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis. Nicknamed "The Big Burrito", he was named Division 2's Mr. Basketball in 2003 following a senior season in which he averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks per game. In 2008, Lausanne retired Gasol's #33 jersey. After graduating from Lausanne, Gasol returned to his home country of Spain to play in the Liga ACB for FC Barcelona. After his solid play in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, Gasol signed with Akasvayu Girona, spending two seasons with the club and was named the 2008 ACB Most Valuable Player.
Memphis Grizzlies (2008–present)
Gasol was selected with the 48th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2007 NBA draft. On February 1, 2008, his draft rights were traded by the Lakers to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a trade package that included his older brother, Pau, who was sent from the Grizzlies to the Lakers. No other instance is known where an NBA player was traded for his brother.
On July 9, 2008, Gasol signed with the Grizzlies. He went on to start his rookie season in fine form, scoring 10-plus points in 10 straight games on 49-for-84 shooting in November 2008. He finished the season with a .530 field goal percentage, a franchise record, beating out a record previously held by his brother, Pau, who shot 51.8% from the field his rookie season.
In his second season, Gasol saw an increased amount of playing time, going from 30.7 minutes per game to 35.8. He used his increased amount of minutes to average 14.6 points with 9.3 rebounds per game. He also recorded a career high field goal percentage at 58.1%, ranking 4th in the league.
In 2010–11, Gasol averaged 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 81 games (all starts). He went on to average 15.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.1 steals per game during the playoffs, helping the Grizzlies upset top-seeded San Antonio Spurs before pushing Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games in the semi-finals. He finished second in rebounds per game and third in blocks per game during the playoffs.
On June 24, 2011, the Grizzlies extended a qualifying offer to Gasol in order to make him a restricted free agent, giving them the chance to match any offer he might get during the offseason.
On December 14, 2011, Gasol re-signed with the Grizzlies to a four-year, $58 million contract. During the week of January 16–22, Gasol led the Grizzlies to a perfect 4–0 record, averaging 19.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. During that time, he recorded three double-doubles, earning him Western Conference Player of the Week honors. He was later named an NBA All-Star for the first time, starting as a reserve for the West. In 2011–12, he averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.9 blocks in 65 games (all starts). In the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Grizzlies lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
After averaging 7.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game during the 2012–13 season, Gasol was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first European player to win the award. In 2012–13, Memphis surrendered a league-low 88.7 points per game. According to NBA.com, Gasol's +5.4 score differential ranked second among the league's centers. The Grizzlies also had a +7.5 score differential when Gasol was playing versus −3.9 when he was on the bench. ESPN lauded the Grizzlies' ability to force turnovers with Gasol on the court anchoring the defense. Gasol also averaged 14.1 points and 4.0 assists per game – his 318 assists for the season were the highest total among all centers.
Despite being named the Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol was left off the NBA All-Defensive first team and was named to the second team instead. Of the players named to both teams, Gasol received the least amount of votes. The Defensive Player of the Year was named by sportswriters, while the All-Defensive team members were named by coaches.
In 2013–14, Gasol played a career low 59 games for the season. He was sidelined for two months in November 2013 with a knee injury, and in those 23 games he missed, the Grizzlies were just 10-13 and had a season-high five-game losing streak in that time. In 59 games with Gasol available, the Grizzlies were 40-19 – a 56-win pace when extended over a full 82-game schedule. He finished the season with averages of 14.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.
On October 29, 2014, Gasol scored a then career-high 32 points as the Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 105–101 for the franchise's first victory in a season opener since 2000, the year before the team moved to Memphis. He tied his career-high with 32 points against the Boston Celtics on November 21. Gasol went on to record 28 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 assists in a 107–101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on December 5 despite suffering bone bruising in his right knee two nights prior, staking his claim as one of the top MVP candidates in the process. He was named an All-Star for the second time in his career in 2014–15. In the Grizzlies' season finale on April 15, Gasol scored a then career-high 33 points in a 95–83 win over the Indiana Pacers. The Grizzlies and Gasol reached the semi-finals where they lost to the No. 1 seeded Golden State Warriors. He averaged 18.8 points and 11.6 rebounds in the six-game series against the Warriors. For his regular season averages of 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, Gasol was recognized with his first All-NBA First Team selection.
On July 13, 2015, Gasol re-signed with the Grizzlies. On November 13, he scored a then season-high 31 points in a 101–100 won over the Portland Trail Blazers. A week later, he recorded his first career triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 96–84 win over the Houston Rockets. On December 1, he recorded a career-high 38 points and 13 rebounds in a 113–104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On December 27, in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Gasol scored 16 points and passed Shareef Abdur-Rahim (7,801 points) for fourth on the Grizzlies' all-time scoring list. On February 9, 2016, he was ruled out indefinitely with a broken right foot. He was later ruled out for the rest of the season on February 23 after undergoing surgery. The injury-riddled Grizzlies finished seventh in the Western Conference, and without Gasol and Mike Conley, they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
On October 30, 2016, Gasol scored 20 points and hit a career-high four three-pointers in a 112–103 overtime win over the Washington Wizards. On November 16, he scored 26 points and made four three-pointers in a 111–107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Over the first 11 games of the season, he made 16 three-pointers; he hit just 12 in his first eight seasons. On November 26, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 110–107 win over the Miami Heat. On December 5, he recorded his second career triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 110–108 double overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On December 8, he set a new season high with 36 points in an 88–86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. On December 21, he went 14-of-17 from the field and matched a career high with 38 points in a 98–86 win over the Detroit Pistons. On January 25, 2017, he set a new career high with 42 points in a 101–99 win over the Toronto Raptors. On March 16, 2017, he recorded his third career triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 103–91 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
On October 21, 2017, Gasol had 34 points and 14 rebounds in a 111–101 win over the Golden State Warriors. On December 2, 2017, he passed 10,000 career points with 27 points in a 116–111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
National team career
In 2006, Gasol was named to the Spanish national team for the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan as a replacement for NBA-draftee Fran Vázquez. Spain went on to win the gold medal in Japan, as well as at the 2009 FIBA EuroBasket. He also won silver medals at the 2007 FIBA EuroBasket, the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Awards and accomplishments
- Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Division 2 "Mr. Basketball" (2003)
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2009)
- 3× NBA All-Star (2012, 2015, 2017)
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award (2013)
- All-NBA Second Team (2013)
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2013)
- All-NBA First Team (2015)
- Spanish ACB League Champion: (2004)
- Spanish Supercup Champion: (2004)
- EuroChallenge Champion: (2007)
- Catalan Tournament Champion: (2007)
- Spanish ACB League MVP (2008)
European Player of the Year awards
- Euroscar (2014)
Spanish national team
- 2006 FIBA World Championship: Gold Medal
- 2007 FIBA European Championship: Silver Medal
- 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament: Silver Medal
- 2009 FIBA European Championship: Gold Medal
- 2011 FIBA European Championship: Gold Medal
- 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament: Silver Medal
- 2013 FIBA European Championship: Bronze Medal
- 2013 FIBA EuroBasket All-Tournament Team
- 2017 FIBA European Championship: Bronze Medal
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|