In some regards, Friday could have been like many other days for the decorated
But it really wasn't, which is why Gasol leaned back at one point, paused and shared his memory of being in the same Times Square hotel after the
"To be here now as an All-Star 14 years later with my brother and everyone here covering this moment, it's quite incredible," Gasol said. "It's just overwhelming."
It's also historic.
When Pau and younger brother Marc jump center at Sunday's 64th
The Gasols parents, Agusti and Marisa, are here. So is youngest brother, Adria. That seems fitting because the Gasols long have been a package deal. Marisa moved her family doctor practice from Barcelona to Memphis when Pau landed there. Agusti quit his job as a nurse administrator. Marc and Adria left their home country and schools and moved to Memphis as well.
Heck, Pau and Marc once were in the same package, with the Lakers sending Marc's draft rights to the Grizzlies in a February 2008 trade that benefited both franchises.
"We're here as a family always, sharing special moments together and enjoying the product of a lot of years of hard work," Pau said.
This is Pau's first start in five All-Star appearances. He has been revitalized in his first season with the Bulls, averaging 18.4 points and 12.1 rebounds entering the All-Star break with a career-best streak of 14 straight double-doubles.
"It means that I'm playing at a high level and that I'm doing something special individually," Pau said. "But when you perform at a high level and put up well-balanced numbers, you're helping your team win. I'm concentrating on the team always."
That Marc, who just turned 30 is 4 1/2 years younger than Pau, is making his second All-Star appearance and first start is the more remarkable story.
Pau, who once wanted to follow his mother's path and become a doctor, always was the fluid, athletic one. Though talented, the beefy Marc enjoyed fast food as he adjusted to American culture and ballooned well past 300 pounds.
Now a svelte 265 pounds, Marc can make a case for being the game's best two-way center.
"Marc chose his own path," Pau said. "When he finished high school here, he made a decision to go back to Spain and work on his body. He realized that what he was doing at the time was not going to work for him. He chose the hard way, which is the only way to become successful.
"I give him a lot of credit for it because he's a one-of-a-kind player. His story should be very inspiring to a lot of people. I'm just very proud of Marc. He has become not just a great basketball player but a great man as well. I love who he is and what he does on and off the court."
So All-Star exhibition or not, who will win that center jump?
"I don't think it matters who wins it," Marc said. "But I think we're both going to go for it no matter what we say now."
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
I'll be there
Golden State guard
So you think
GAME OF THE WEEK
San Antonio at Golden State
When: 7:30 PST. TV:
The first time the teams met in November, the upstart