Even though there have been 63 NBA All-Star Games before the upcoming one this weekend on Sunday, February 15th at Madison Square Garden, the 64th edition will have a unique trait that no other one before it has had. Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies will be starting for opposing sides, as the two players are the first pair of brothers to be voted as All-Star starters in the same season. This is Pau’s fifth appearance as an NBA All-Star and Marc’s second appearance.The last pair of brothers to have participated in the event is Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, who competed against each other in the 1970 and 1971 All-Star games. What makes the Gasol brothers even more unique is that they are the only international players on either NBA All-Star roster, as natives of Barcelona, Spain.
They both played professionally for FC Barcelona in Liga ACB, which is the top Spanish professional basketball league, before coming to America and signing with NBA teams. Pau won two Spanish League championship and was named the Spanish League Finals MVP in 2001 averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in Liga ACB games. After being drafted into the NBA, Pau was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002, becoming the first and only non-American player to win the award. Marc was the Spanish League MVP in 2008 while playing for Akasvayu Girona before being drafted to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he has spent his entire NBA career.
Pau is a two-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and is the Memphis Grizzlies all-time leading scorer. Marc was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and is chasing his brother’s all-time leading scorer title for the Grizzlies. The Los Angeles Lakers selected Marc with the 48th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. On February 1, 2008, his draft rights were traded by the Lakers to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a trade package that included his older brother, Pau, who was sent from the Grizzlies to the Lakers. No other instance is known where an NBA player was traded for his brother.
Not only is there a big difference in salaries when it comes to Liga ACB and the NBA,but it is interesting to note ticket prices of the Gasol’s former Spanish team to what it would cost to watch them play against each other this weekend in New York City.
According to ticket reseller Ticketbis, there are three Barcelona Regal contests listed for the month of March on their website, with an average ticket price of $33.31 (£29.46). Looking at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, there are just under 800 tickets remaining for the contest with an average ticket price of $1,836.95 (£1,623.65), and a get-in price of $794 (£701.80).
Marc and Pau Gasol have always been connected when it comes to basketball, and that trend continues at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. It will be very fun and exciting to see them matchup against each other under the brightest lights in the game.