Marc Gasol: Following in Pau's Footsteps
By Joshua Motenko
[img_assist|nid=3975|title=Marc Gasol|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=350|height=263]During the 2007 FIBA EuroCup All Star game in Cyprus, NBAdraft.net had a chance to visit with first-time All Star Marc Gasol, brother of NBA All-Star Pau Gasol.
(Parts of this interview have been translated from Spanish)
Motenko: Marc, thanks for agreeing to conduct this interview with NBAdraft.net.
Gasol: Of course, no problem.
Motenko: Do you think you’re ready for the NBA right now?
Gasol: Right now? I don’t know. I’ve gotten very good experience here in Europe. The level of play here is getting better all the time, so it has prepared me well.
Motenko: But playing in the NBA is a goal of yours, right?
Gasol: Yes, definitely.
Motenko: Well, what if you played in Europe for the rest of your career. Would that be satisfying for you?
Gasol: Um, yeah, I would. I got a chance to play in the final four. I’m playing at home now, which is something I really like – to be at home. And the fans are different in Europe, you know? They treat you differently.
Motenko: Do you talk to Pau about playing in the NBA? What does he tell you?
[img_assist|nid=3976|title=Marc Gasol|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=333]Gasol: Yeah. We talk about it. He keeps saying it’s important to be in a situation where I’m going to help my team, you know? I’ve only played at the top level for a short time, and being a young guy here, I know what it’s like to be sitting on the bench.
Motenko: If you were selected in the first round of the draft, would you leave Europe to go to the NBA? If you were picked in the second round how would that change your decision?
Gasol: It would be a great honor to be picked in the first round. But again, it really depends on the team I go to. If I’m going to be the 12th or 13th guy, I wouldn’t like that. I’ve been sitting… and it’s hard not to play. If I’m going to be able to play and help my team, I want to go.
Motenko: In what kind of situation do you think you would be able to help your team the most? You know your game, what type of situation is best for you?
Gasol: It doesn’t matter. Whatever my coach thinks I should do to help the most, I will do. If my coach wants me to focus on defense, I’ll do that. If he wants me to focus on offense, I know I can do that. If he wants me to focus on both… whatever.
Motenko: You played two years in the U.S. when you were in high school, how did that help your game? Also, how was the style of play different from Spain for players of that age?
Gasol: It helped a lot. The game in Europe is more of a team game, you know? They really want you to play together. In the states there is more focus on individual and one on one play, match-ups, you know what I’m saying? I was the main guy on the team, so it helped a lot because I improved my confidence. But I like both styles of play the same.
Motenko: Have you gotten any information from coaches or scouts about your potential draft position?
Gasol: I have an agent, you know, and I told him I don’t want to know nothing. I want to focus on this year. It’s not really fair to my teammates and everyone [if I’m thinking about next year] so I really just don’t want to know.
Motenko: There are some opportunities this summer to let everyone see your game against top competition like the Orlando Pre-draft Camp and the Treviso Reebok Camp. Would you want to participate in any of these?
Gasol: I don’t know. I’m not thinking about that. But with the National Team, this summer I should still be playing, you know?
Motenko: Let’s say hypothetically you are drafted in the late first round, and you are deciding to go to the NBA next year, what would you work on this summer to get ready for the NBA game?
Gasol: Physically, I will have to get better. I would work on my conditioning and really be in shape when I arrive, you know. I would have to show the coaches that I’m ready to play. But there’s not much skill-wise – I can do whatever the coach wants, you know – just continue to get better.
Motenko: Marc thanks for your time, you seem like a genuinely good guy which makes for a pleasant interview. Best of luck this year.
Gasol: Okay, thanks. See ya.