LWhen it comes to talking about Pau Gasol, it is easy to turn to his sporting achievements, but his figure has transcended the tracks and has become a social benchmark. It is what stand out colleagues, rivals, coaches and great personalities from the world of basketball, who remember their work, their effort and their values ??… in addition to their many successes and the way in which Spanish basketball changed.

Jorge Garbajosa, president of the FEB and teammate

“A track record like Pau’s cannot be understood without his ability to make the team better, his way of acting as a leader, always putting the interest of the group before the staff and the example that to achieve success, in addition to talent, it takes a lot work, a lot of effort, a lot of dedication and sacrifices. For all this as well as for his successes on the court, Pau has come to occupy a pre-eminent place in the history of basketball and all of Spanish sport. It is time to thank him for everything what he has done and how he has done it. “

Chus Bueno, Vice President of NBA EMEA & Head of NBA Spain

“I would like to congratulate Pau for his impressive career, both at the national team level and in the NBA. His legacy goes far beyond his sporting achievements as the banner of an impressive generation for Spanish sports, but also as a source of inspiration for thousands of girls and boys to whom his example has introduced in the practice of basketball “.

Aíto García Reneses, coach at Barça and the national team

“There is no doubt that he has been the player who has reached the highest level when the NBA was better than now and he has been one of the strongholds of Barça, Memphis, Lakers and San Antonio. He has been key in the two most successful decades of the game. Spanish basketball. His physical conditions, together with the techniques and his head have allowed him to get to where he has come “.

José Manuel Calderón, NBA rival and teammate

“He has been an example, a leader who in the end has been where we all looked at each other because he was the first to come to the NBA. I think he has been a leader, apart from a great friend, affectionate, good people. His humility, his work, his sacrifice, his desire to improve even being one of the best in the history of basketball tells you what kind of person he is. And then he has also been able to take all this that has happened to our generation, be a little representative, the name that everyone followed. He has represented everyone, the team, the Spanish sport. Everyone knows Pau and everyone identifies with him. Pau is Spanish sport. “

Nikola Mirotic, teammate with the Bulls, Bucks, Barça and the national team

“Thank you Pau for everything you have given to basketball, sport and the example that you set for everyone. Besides being a unique player, you are an equally extraordinary person. I have seen you do incredible things on the court, matches at the level of the bigger, but off the track you’ve been just as exemplary. “

Rudy Fernández, NBA rival and teammate

“A unique and unrepeatable player, not only on the court but also as a person. I would like to highlight his role as a leader, he was the man to follow.”

Raúl López, rival in ACB and NBA and teammate in the national team

“He is a unique and unrepeatable player, it has been a luxury to be able to enjoy his career as a basketball fan, as a spectator, and as a teammate in the locker room. Maximum competitor and with a privileged mind to play this sport. Basketball will miss him a lot. less. We will hardly ever see something like that again. “

Javier Imbroda, national coach

“I have always said that I will tell my grandchildren that I was the coach who brought Pau to the national team. He made his debut with me and it was something extraordinary and I feel fortunate that time and space have put us in the same place. I had to make my debut, for Of course. If I don’t take him, I have to leave Spain. It was not a complicated decision. I remember he was a special, different player, we were all amazed by the season he did before going to the NBA. I remember that when I called him he had just finished after playing the League final against Real Madrid and had a run-in with Lucio. When they arrived at the national team, one of the first decisions I made was that they should be in the same room together. This sounded a bit strange to them, but it was what There was. We were facing a European Championship in Istanbul in which it was the championship where the Golden Juniors generation took command. It was a team with a series of more veteran players, such as Nacho Rodríguez, Alfonso Reyes, Paraíso and Carlos Jimé nes, people who had made effort a hallmark. This was joined by the talent of these players who entered. It was a great mix. Young people gathered all the media spots, but there was no jealousy. The older ones protected them. I remember that fight for bronze in which Pau scored 27 points and Nowtizki scored 40. It was the duel of two world stars. I remember when we said goodbye in Barajas, I told him, “Don’t stop being normal.” I told him that so he wouldn’t levitate. He never did. I went to his first All Star in Philadelphia and I was with him for about 10 days, I saw a boy with great maturity who was making a name for himself among the greatest in basketball. And it went on like this ad infinitum.

Felipe Reyes, teammate

“For me it has been very important in my career as a player, thanks to him I have learned to work very hard to achieve my goals. With him I realized that you can always improve if you try hard. No matter how badly you get something, yes you work hard, you can achieve it. He is an excellent person. He is a good friend of his friends, close, affectionate. If as a player he is a legend of Spanish and world sport, as a person he is not far behind. He is a very good uncle and he is not your typical enlarged that he thinks himself superior to others because of who he is when he has everything. “

Amaya Valdemoro, legend of women’s basketball

“The most important player in the history of our basketball by far. With him, our sport became global and gave us a lot of visibility for everyone, men and women. That is almost as important as all the titles and medals he achieved. the court was a player who continued to incorporate things into his repertoire, with a privileged intelligence for the game that made the rest of the team better. Off the court he does great social work with his Foundation and a thousand other things. time and a path for others. He is a benchmark for young and old. His legacy does not end with basketball. “

Pepu Hernández, coach

“He is one of the great privileged and chosen ones who have been able to change the course of events. Pau changed our basketball. Not only do you have to look at the charts and medals but also see who is capable of changing dynamics and he did it at the national level. and international. He has been the first in many things, but above all he has had the ability to transmit values ??such as leadership not imposed but shared. The important thing is the inheritance and the legacy he leaves. He has multiplied and enriched the one he received. I feel privileged to have had him, but I only limited myself to coordinating his abilities. It is extraordinary when someone comes with his leadership, his commitment and his intelligence, which for me is the best of his foundations. Now I only wish him very happy and also that he does not go far from sports and basketball. Wherever he goes and whatever his decisions are, he will do well. “

Carlos Jiménez, teammate in the national team

“What to say about Pau? It is difficult to have words that summarize everything that Pau supposes. Well, a legend of Spanish and world basketball and the visible head of the golden age of our basketball in the last 20 years. I will always remember the first day that He joined the national team in San Fernando in that summer of 2001 when we went to the European Championship in Turkey. The leap in quality that he gave the group with his presence was abysmal. It was the beginning of everything we have been lucky enough to experience in the latter years. Personally, I am very proud to have shared great championships with him. It has been a personal satisfaction. We must recognize all the work he has done in sport and I hope and wish that he transcends his figure beyond sports and that he begins now another successful stage in the social sphere. He is a person full of very good values ??and it would do us all very good if Pau continues to be present in our lives ”

José A. Paraíso, rival in ACB debut and teammate in the national team

“I was lucky to be in his debut. He played little, but we saw him there. Then I coincided with him in the national team and from the first moment he was a leader both on and off the court. He never shrunk at any time and was a a benchmark for all of us even when I was very young. It was incredible to meet him, a born winner in everything in life. “

Laia Palau, player of the women’s team

“I’m going to stick to an article that Phil Jackson wrote at the time and that praised Pau’s kind character. Obviously, I’m not going to stop to talk about Pau’s resume, titles and rings because we already know them all. It should be noted that he has always made his teams better and not only because of his contribution on the court but also because of his kind nature, trying to fix conflicts, integrating people … He’s a smart guy, that’s very clear. of the track and for me it is a luxury for everyone to have a benchmark in the world of sport with these characteristics. Not only has he been good and decisive in basketball, but he has contributed a lot of extra-sports things. It is a total win win. “

Via Marca.com