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Who had a better NBA career, Marc or Pau Gasol?

Pau and Marc Gasol tip the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in Brooklyn, New York
Pau and Marc Gasol tip the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in Brooklyn, New York

The Gasol brothers, Marc and Pau are similar to any other pro sports siblings, so of course they'll be compared. As both NBA careers wind down, which Gasol brother has had the better career?

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What Pau Gasol has done

The 4th pick in the 2001 NBA draft, Pau Gasol averaged 17 points and nine rebounds, leading to the All-Rookie team and the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Gasol helped put the Memphis Grizzlies on the map with the ability to bang down low to get every rebound with passion, yet had a soft touch with either hand at the rim.

Gasol was a six-time all-star who made four All NBA Teams. Gasol joined the Lakers and helped Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson to back-to-back championships in 2008-10. Those championships helped solidify Gasol as one of the best international basketball players of all time, and surely potential induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame based on his international contribution to the sport of basketball.

What Marc Gasol accomplished in the NBA

The 48th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Marc Gasol, played out his contract in Spain, then added 12 points and seven boards as a rookie. That earned him an All-Rookie Team spot. The identity of the Memphis Grizzlies became one of toughness and will, and with Marc Gasol at center, the Grizzles were a perennial playoff team anchored by great defensive play. Marc Gasol won the 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award based on that identity, and his command down low gave Gasol the reputation of someone who could get it done down low when it mattered most.

That became evident when Marc was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2018-2019 and became a key defensive piece in the Raptors winning the NBA Championship. Gasol has averaged 14 points and seven rips for his career. He is one of 17 players all-time to accomplish the following: 12k points, 6k rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1k blocks, and 500 steals. It's a list his brother Pau Gasol is on as well.

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Marc and Paul head-to-head

Marc Gasol, against his older brother Pau, averaged 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 35 games.

Pau, in those 35 games, put up 11 points, nine boards and two assists vs. his brother Marc Gasol.

Each averaged a block in those games.

Pau Gasol won 22 times and lost 13 vs. his brother Marc Gasol - including 4-2 in the playoffs.

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The Gasol brothers' international honors

Pau led Spain to gold medals at the 2006 World Cup, and also the EuroBasket in 2009, 2011, and 2015 (silver in 2003 and 2007). Gasol also has Olympic silver medals from '08 and '12.

Marc won World Cup gold medals in 2006 and 2019; European championships '09 and'11. Like his brother, Marc Gasol also has silver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and a silver from the 2007 EuroBasket as well.

Verdict

Though it seems both Marc and Pau will garner major Hall of Fame consideration as international players, when looking at their NBA careers, Pau seems to win the career eye test.

The championships with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson overshadowed younger brother Marc's ring with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry in Toronto. Two is better than one. Those Memphis teams with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley were tough. The defense they played not only showed up statistically, but visually as well. Every possession was hard to come by, and the anchor was Marc Gasol. Pau was more gifted offensively and held his own defensively.

On paper it all looks close, yet Pau has the edge by his effect on the aforementioned championships in particular. NBA fans, unaware of how gifted Pau was around the rim, were given a true example in those NBA Finals. Little brother, was not far off, and might be one of the last of his kind as basketball focuses on offense going forward.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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