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Pau Gasol says he prefers the European style of basketball

Oct 18, 2011, 10:08 AM EDT

Pau Gasol Spain

Is this really even surprising?

Pau Gasol, in an interview with French publication L’ Equipe (as seen on the Spanish ABC site, via Ball in Europe) said he prefers the style of basketball seen in Europe to what is played in the NBA

“I prefer the European game to the NBA because basketball is a team sport and more beautiful to watch when the players pass the ball or when the ball movement to create shooting situations.”

Here’s the thing — 30 NBA coaches agree with Gasol. Well, maybe 29, who knows what Mark Jackson is thinking. But at what point have you heard any NBA coach say, “what we need is more isolation basketball and guys standing around, I’m sick of all this off-the-ball movement.” It doesn’t happen because of the players, not the coaches.

Phil Jackson’s brilliance (in addition to getting a team to focus and ignore outside distractions) was getting star players to buy into a system that required selflessness. The triangle was about spacing and ball movement, and Jackson got guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to buy in. Or at least buy in enough to make it work. At its heart, the triangle offense was more European in style than what most NBA teams run.

And Gasol is right, when the Lakers really ran the triangle the basketball was a thing of beauty.

  1. passerby23 - Oct 18, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Not sure where in that quote Gasol was complaining that it was the coaches’ fault that there isn’t more team-oriented basketball in the NBA.

  2. hoopshort - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Pau……Just come out an say “you prefer softer style of basketball”. I’ve watched both leagues because I love the game. While there are a few things I would like the NBA to include in the rules; taking the ball off the rim without it being a goaltend for one, otherwise there’s no comparison as to which is a more entertaining game style. Hands down…NBA. For instance Navarro on his (Gasol) country’s team of Spain would never reach the heights he has reached in Euroball over here. Defense is more of an element in the NBA then Euroball.

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