Distinguished Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall Of Famer, Pau Gasol, has revealed his meticulously crafted compilation of the top 10 greatest players in basketball history. This assemblage of basketball excellence not only demonstrates his astute judgment of exceptional skills but also reflects his profound attachment to his Lakers heritage. The roster was disclosed by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Gasol’s list reads like a constellation of basketball icons, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry. A keen observer might note that this tally goes beyond the customary 10, but it’s a testament to Gasol’s passion for the game and his difficulty in narrowing down his selections.
What’s truly heartening is Gasol’s distinct inclination towards his Lakers family. Among his elite picks, four Lakers legends proudly find their place – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and the timeless LeBron James. For Gasol, the camaraderie and excellence he experienced with these Lakers greats are etched into his memory.
The inclusion of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in his list emphasizes Gasol’s appreciation for players who not only dominated the court but also revolutionized the way the game is played. Their iconic duels during the Celtics-Lakers rivalry era left an indelible mark on basketball history, making them true legends in the sport’s lore.
Of course, the shadow of Kobe Bryant looms large. Gasol’s bond with the Black Mamba was more than just professional; it was personal. Their partnership yielded two NBA championships, and Gasol acknowledges the immense influence Kobe and Michael Jordan had on the game’s trajectory. In Gasol’s words, “Michael and Kobe had a huge influence on the game. They are two of my favorites as well.”
Duncan, Garnett, and Nowitzki, three formidable power forwards Gasol faced on the court, also secured their spots on his list. These battles undoubtedly sculpted Gasol’s game and motivated him to strive for excellence. His career stats showcase his prowess, averaging 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, along with a solid defensive presence.
Gasol’s international perspective shines through in his admiration for Dirk Nowitzki, acknowledging the German’s unique impact on the game and his significance to European and international players. Nowitzki’s inclusion in Gasol’s list underscores the global nature of basketball’s influence.
As the Lakers’ current beacon, LeBron James earned a special place on Gasol’s roster. His transcendent ability to bring victory wherever he goes, coupled with his longevity and four NBA championships, undoubtedly cements his legacy.
Finally, Pau Gasol’s list is a testament to his love for the game, his respect for its legends, and his loyalty to the Lakers. As Gasol himself steps into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023, his all-time list stands as a unique blend of personal experiences and basketball excellence, making it a true celebration of the sport’s most exceptional talents.