Marc Gasol joins exclusive club by winning NBA title, FIBA World Cup in same year
Safe to say that Marc Gasol has already had a tremendous 2019. After being traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toronto Raptors in February, Gasol became a key cog of the first championship roster in Raptors history.
On Sunday morning, Gasol compounded his success on the international stage, winning the FIBA World Cup final for Spain against Argentina. The veteran big man became the 19th player in history to win an NBA or WNBA title and a gold medal in the same year. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Lamar Odom, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are the only other NBA players:
Spain wins World Cup, topping Argentina.
Raptors center Marc Gasol becomes the 19th player to win an NBA or WNBA title and a gold medal in the same year. pic.twitter.com/poVhQzATqz
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 15, 2019
Gasol spoke to reporters — including Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops — about the significance of the achievement in what might be his final FIBA World Cup:
“It’s been a good three months”, he said jokingly. “I’m very happy and fortunate. I’m blessed to be in this position.” Gasol, 34 was also voted in the All-Star five, but still, he said: “the sun will come up again, the world will keep going, but we get to be world champions”.
Gasol was also part of the 2006 Spanish team that won the FIBA World Championship, and he has won a pair of Olympic silver medals.
After winning a title in Toronto, Gasol elected to exercise his one-year player option to remain with the Raptors for the 2019-20 season. However, with Kawhi Leonard no longer in town and veterans like Gasol and Kyle Lowry on expiring contracts, there is a chance that the pair could be dealt before the end of the season.
Regardless, Marc Gasol has had an incredible career, both at the NBA level and on the international stage.