Week 3 of our "Did you know...?" feature, this week focusing on our favorite Spaniard, Pau Gasol. We all know what Pau Gasol has brought to the Lakers, starting with his first game in purple and gold, on February 5, 2008, where he scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds in a 105–90 win over the New Jersey Nets (you know, back when they had Jason Kidd and were still decent). In fact, Gasol helped the Lakers finish the regular season with the best record in the Western Conference (57–25); with him in the starting lineup the Lakers went 22–5.
But there's more to Pau Gasol than meets the eye. He is the quintessential Renaissance Man, a well-rounded, highly-educated gentleman who likes to experience lots of new things and broaden his horizons (no, this is not an eHarmony ad). He's simply The Most Interesting Man in the World.
- His full name is Pau Gasol i Sàez; in the Spanish tradition, the mother's maiden name comes last (his parents are Marisa Sàez and Agustí Gasol)
- His mother is a doctor and his father was a nurse, now hospital nursing administrator
- His original plan was to become a doctor after hearing Magic Johnson, his favorite player, announce his HIV-positive diagnosis
- He was named MVP of the Spanish National Cup championships when he played for Barcelona in 2001
- He was originally drafted in 2001 by the Atlanta Hawks, but immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies
- His parents moved to the Memphis suburb of Germantown, Tennessee after he signed with the Grizzlies, and enrolled his younger brothers Marc and Adrià (currently 6'10") in Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis
- He was named Rookie of the Year in 2001-2002
- He made 29 consecutive free throw attempts from January 24 to January 28, 2006 (Dude, WTF happened?!)
- He was the first Spanish basketball player as well as the first Grizzlies player to ever make it to the All-Star Game
- He has never been ejected from a game
- He has worn #16 since he was a kid
- He scored his 10,000th point in a game against the Jazz on the 2nd of January 2009 (Happy Anniversary, Pau!)
- He is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, Italian and French (both self-taught); he and Kobe speak Spanish during games to keep opponents from knowing their gameplan (which sometimes they don't know themselves)
- He plays classical works on the keyboard and regularly attends concerts and the opera, often visiting fellow Spaniard Placido Domingo backstage after performances
- He looks like Kenny Loggins (google him if you don't know who he is)
So, what do you know about Pau Gasol i Sàez?
Note: All information from Wikipedia and NBA.com.