2002 NBA Rookie Of The Year: Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2002. Gasol is a professional basketball player who plays in the National Basketball Association for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol’s history of success begins in Spain. As a teenager, Pau Gasol gained prominence when he played for Barcelona’s junior team. Pau’s talent would later earn him a spot on Barcelona’s senior team. In 2001 he led Barcelona to the Spanish National Cup, where he was named the MVP.
After his success in Spain, Pau decided to enter the 2001 NBA draft. He was selected with the third overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks. Following his selection he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Abdur-Rahim.
His transition to the NBA was smooth. Pau Gasol averaged over seventeen points and almost nine rebounds a game. His solid play earned him the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Gasol continued to be a solid contributor for the Grizzlies. In his six and half seasons with Memphis, Pau always averaged at least seventeen points a game. He earned his first selection to the NBA All-Star game in 2006 for the Western Conference.
February 1, 2008 marked a turning point for Gasol. Pau was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers Pau would receive his first taste of postseason success. With Memphis Gasol never advanced past the first round, in 2008 he played in his first NBA Finals. The Lakers would lose to the Boston Celtics in six games but the seeds for a championship were born.
The 2008-2009 season would mark a watershed year in the career of Pau Gasol. Gasol averaged nineteen points and nine rebounds a game. His play earned him his second selection to the NBA All-Star game. It would also mark the first NBA Title for Gasol. The Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals.
The 2009-2010 season saw another solid effort. Pau averaged eighteen points a game and eleven rebounds. The Lakers earned a 57-25 record and a birth in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.