Lakers forward/center Pau Gasol made a list of his all-time, top-5 great European players who played in the NBA. It’s not a surprising list, one that relies heavily on history. Here it is:
1. Arvydas Sabonis, Lithuania.
2. Toni Kukoc, Croatia
3. Drazen Petrovic, Croatia
4. Dirk Nowitzki, Germany
5. Fernando Martin, Spain.
Gasol paused for a moment after naming Petrovic and a reporter quickly asked, “What about your brother (Marc, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies)?”
Gasol quickly shot back, “You’re talking about all-time, right? Obviously, I have great love for my brother, but you’re talking about all-time.” Gasol picked Martin, his countryman who died in an auto accident, because “He was the first Spaniard to make it to the NBA. That’s always important. That’s always a big thing.”