A great figure of the orange ball in Europe, Pau Gasol has just unveiled what he believes is the best possible major five in this area. Interestingly, he didn’t include himself in that…nor did Tony Parker for that matter, who was left out to everyone’s surprise.
With two championship rings, six All-Star Game appearances and 18 NBA seasons for more than 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 average assists, Pau Gasol should a priori soon finish in the Hall of Fame of the big league. When it comes to the FIBA scene though, there’s not even a debate: the Spaniard is perhaps the best all-time player in international competition. World champion, triple European champion and Olympic vice-champion, the big man has known everything with his country.
With a basketball IQ well above average, an excellent distributor and very technical, the former Grizzlies and Lakers marked his era on the Old Continent. However, he does not include himself among the best European players in history, at least not when he has to compose his 5 major in this area. He indeed revealed it recently, with a list of players for the less prestigious, even without his presence in the racket:
TP absent from the five European major of Pau Gasol
👉 Read more: https://t.co/yND7rLigJF pic.twitter.com/hhwJfwzBlO
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) July 27, 2022
Drazen Petrovic and Nick Gallis in the backcourt, Toni Kukoc and Dirk Nowitzki to occupy the wings and finally Arvydas Sabonis under the circle: clearly, this line-up imagined by the former Iberian international could sell dreams. Casually, he could also be totally in tune with current basketball in the NBA: The Lithuanian pivot is an excellent passer, Dirkules was one of the first great fleeing interiors while Kukoc is a point forward at heart . Add to that two strong scoring guards, and you have a terrifying offensive strike force.
On the other hand, if this major five is therefore of very high quality, we can still debate certain points. First, as strong as it is in attack, this squad would be much less so in defense where it displays serious flaws. Then, although he wouldn’t have been of much help in this sector, Tony Parker would not have deserved to be included, being after all quadruple NBA champion as well as European champion, as well as the best European leader of his generation. In any case, some fans share this opinion:
Tony Parker as a lugar by Nikos Galis.
— Felipe (@F_Gooner) July 27, 2022
Tony Parker in place of Nikos Gallis.
No Tony Parker in Pau Gasol’s dream European line-up, but we can’t say that the lucky ones stole their place either. Some like Nick Gallis simply had less exposure than TP, the Greek having never played in the NBA.