Sibling Rivalry: “Little” Gasol Bigger

SAN ANTONIO – Marc Gasol has spent years engaged in sibling rivalry. But there’s also such a thing as sibling smarts, which is why he didn’t give big brother Pau a call to gloat after his own bust-out playoff performance in Game 1 against the Spurs on Sunday.

“I knew he did not have a good game,” said the Grizzlies center. “So I knew he wouldn’t be talking a lot.”

But while the four-time Lakers All-Star Pau was struggling to shoot just 2-for-9 and scored just eight points in L.A.’s shocking opening game loss to New Orleans, little brother Marc was helping the Grizzlies get the first playoff win in franchise history, hitting 9-for-10 for 24 points.

The bigger irony is that in the process little brother accomplished what big brother never could. Pau was 0-12 in a dozen playoff games over six seasons with Memphis.

The 23-year-old Marc came to the Grizzlies as part of the multi-player deal that sent Pau to the Lakers in 2008 and over the past three years has turned himself into a solid force in the middle.

Marc is everything that Pau isn’t – hulking, bruising and constantly aggressive.

“He’s a young player who had to keep learning and growing in the league,” said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. “But he also just had to develop confidence in himself out on the floor.”

Now it’s his Grizzlies teammates who have confidence in Gasol. While talking about coming to terms on his new four-year, $66 million contract with the Grizzlies, power forward Zach Randolph said one of the biggest factors in his decision was to continue playing with Gasol.

“Marc is great,” Randolph said. “He has such a high IQ for the game. That’s what I love about him. He’s been playing so long and playing against older guys, because he was playing overseas. I love playing with him. He plays the right way.”

And for a day at least, he was the best Gasol in the NBA playoffs, even if he couldn’t bring himself to tell his big brother.

6 Comments

  1. Tenki says:

    I totally agree that Marc would never be like Pau, because Marc plays a very distinctive approach to the game. He has no finesse game, but he can play with brute strength and determination. He has a relatively mediocre mid-range shot compared to Pau, but then he can play better in the paint. Marc may be slower, but he is bulkier than Pau. There are things that you would like to give or take when you want to have the ideal big man, but both are close to ideal. But if I were to choose who I want to play in my team, it’s Marc, because he is younger than Pau. We can’t turn back the hands of time, and this is where Marc would have an advantage over Pau.

  2. prix says:

    Pau is more of a shooting guard big man w/c a little bit slower and slow motion. he create his shot not the typical low post big man style but with a lot of threat like shooting guard do but with a slow motion mode…Marc is more of a banger and make a living on a garbage plays…If they play one on one ,I would go with Marc.. he will keep on banging Pau and Pau end up crying..

  3. gars says:

    Id like to ask Pop right now if the trade between LAL and MEM still needs a committee or not. haha. i bet he might swallow his tongue. LoL

    • Jake says:

      Still needs a committee. Marc still isn’t (and probably never will be) as good as Pau, and the Grizzlies could have gotten so much more for Pau than castoff players, cash, and a draft pick. The Grizzlies might be really good right now if they had made a better trade.

  4. Adrixe says:

    I think marc will be a better player in the future. he has good D and decent low post game.

  5. Gary says:

    Haha, he could have been on LA right now. But still I’d have to say Pau is the better shooter, just not as composed at times as he should be.