These Spanish Names Are Going Down in Basketball History
Don’t be surprised by the fact that the world’s greatest basketball league speaks Spanish. Game after game, spirited fans chant last names like Gasol, Rubio, and Calderón to cheer on their team. And it seems that this season, some Spanish players are poised to become living legends.
Pau Gasol has played on six NBA teams: the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs, the Milwaukee Bucks, and his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. During his time on the Spanish national basketball team, which his brother Marc Gasol currently plays for, Pau Gasol became a key player on a team that always strived for excellence.
José Manuel Calderón, Olympic medalist, was one of the first Spanish players to step foot on an NBA basketball court. For his first season in the big leagues, he wore the jersey of the Toronto Raptors. Since 2012, he's competed on top teams, including the Detroit Pistons, the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Together with Pau Gasol, José Manuel Calderón was one of the players that made it possible for Spain to win gold in the 2006 World Cup.
Another Spanish basketball star who plays in the U.S. is Ricky Rubio. He began his career in North America with the Minnesota Timberwolves and has gone on to play with the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns. His performance in the 2019 World Cup helped propel Spain to victory.