END OF THE ROAD FOR PAU? On Wednesday, Pau Gasol announced that the Blazers were waiving him so he could continue to rehab his surgically-repaired left foot. Although it sounds like he’s going to continue to do that in an attempt to continue his playing career, there’s a good chance this could be it for the future Hall of Famer.
If that is the case, Gasol will go down as one of the greatest European players of all time. In fact, as of last year, we had him ranked No. 2 in those rankings. For his career, Gasol averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, was a major contributor on two championship-winning Lakers team while earning All-Star distinction six times and All-NBA honors four times. In L.A.’s 2010 title run, the big Spaniard was particularly nasty to the point that some believe he was actually the deserving Finals MVP that year.
Gasol ranks third in NBA history in points scored by an international player (20,894), fourth in rebounds (11,305) and fifth in assists (3,925).
He was also extremely successful on the international front, winning two Olympic silver medals with Spain, one World Cup gold medal and three EuroBasket gold medals, among a host of other awards. There’s no doubt Gasol is the greatest player in FIBA summer competitions ever.
💰 Gasol was also pretty successful financially throughout his career, earning roughly $219.8 million in his 18 NBA seasons. So there’s that.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Two firsts occurred in the NBA last night, and both were pretty awesome.
🔥 Unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic was absolutely spectacular yet again on Wednesday. The Slovenian superstar dropped 35 points (on just 18 shot attempts), 10 rebounds and 11 assists against the severely undermanned Warriors, becoming the first player in league history to secure a 35-point triple-double in under 25 minutes in the process. That’s an insane stat.
😱 Meanwhile, on the complete opposite end of the surprising spectrum, Ben Simmons hit the first three-pointer of his career. It didn’t look half-bad, either. Let’s see if he attempts another one this season. (He should.)
😲 Game of the night honors have to go to Clippers/Celtics, who battled into overtime, with Los Angeles coming out victorious 107-104. It was the first time the Clippers had Kawhi Leonard and Paul George suit up together, and the duo did not disappoint; the two elite wings combined for 42 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on the evening. Sidenote: Don’t expect the Celtics to move any of their core pieces, as Brian Windhorst is reporting that Boston is telling teams that their core pieces, including Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart, are untouchable.
NEARLY ANOTHER FIGHT NIGHT: Joel Embiid nearly got into another scuffle. He had to be separated from Marcus Morris after Morris shoved him on a rebound. The big man is having a feisty season.
HARDEN TO THE LINE: James Harden is averaging more free throws this season than any player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1961-62. Are you not entertained?
ROOKIE RANKINGS: Miami’s Kendrick Nunn is the unlikely No. 1 in the race for Rookie of the Year right now. If he keeps it up, he would be the first undrafted player to win the award in NBA history. (Slick Watts of the Seattle SuperSonics came closest to accomplishing that finishing third in the 1974 ROY vote.)
A CANDID ROSE: Derrick Rose speaks to veteran Bulls reporter KC Johnson on a variety of topics, including his time in Chicago.
MELO BACK: Carmelo Anthony on how he kept his focus during his long layoff, his mindset now, and much more.
A LITTLE MORE ON MELO: SBNation secured an interview with Carmelo Anthony’s trainer, who gave them a bunch of interesting info on Anthony’s comeback.
POTENTIAL NO. 1 PICK SUSPENDED: Potential 2020 No. 1 draft pick James Wiseman got handed a suspension and a fine (seriously, the NCAA is fining a kid they’re not paying), but will be eligible to return this season come Jan. 12.
QUOTE MACHINES: Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes have a new video podcast on Showtime’s YouTube channel, which debuted last month. It’s called ‘All the Smoke’, a not-so-subtle play on words.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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