Sibling Rivalry: Gasol Civil War In Memphis

There’s a certain class and sophistication to just about everything Pau Gasol does. So it’s no shock, when he talks about playing against his brother Marc, it’s not the kind of sibling rivalry we expect here in the United States.

“(We’re) different kind of players, (with) different bodies,” Pau said. “Very skilled. (Marc)’s a bit more of a banger, he’s got a better body to do that.”

The two brothers have never faced each other quite like they will tonight — sometimes matched up on each other as the Lakers play the Grizzlies in Memphis. It may be just one of 82 in the NBA schedule, but not in the Gasol household. This is a rarity.

It’s not a big surprise the two played basketball so well — parents Marisa and Agusti Gasol both played second division basketball in Spain.

While they grew up in the same house (which must have had tall ceilings with Pau at 7-0 and Marc at 7-1), the two rarely played against each other in a serious way. This was not one of those stories where they were out at the hoop off the back of the house pushing each other — Pau was four years older and the brothers rarely played against each other.

Most recently, they had great success playing together. They were two key cogs in Spain winning a silver medal in Beijing, with Marc playing center (as he does in Memphis) and Pau at the power forward spot he has come to thrive in for the Lakers.

Tonight will be different; at times they will be matched up on one another. Marisa and Agusti have flown in to watch the contest.

Pau remains the more skilled player by far. He is averaging 17.5 points per game while shooting 55.9%, he has range out to about 18 feet, plus a variety of moves near the basket. Pau also pitches in 9.3 rebounds per game.

Marc’s game is more blue collar. He weighs a healthy 265 pounds and pushes people around inside. Plus he is averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, not to mention a blocked shot. But he gets that offense taking advantage of defensive lapses, he does not create his own shot like Pau.

Pau started his career in Memphis, proved there he could be a very good player, then was traded to the Lakers in a cap clearing deal. At the time everyone thought it was a steal for the Lakers, but after watching Marc, who was part of the deal, the move suddenly doesn’t look as bad for Memphis.

But for one night, Pau might want to remind Memphis what they are missing. And remind Marc who is the older brother.

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