I don’t know about any of you guys, but I’m getting really desperate for basketball to start. It’s awful. I need it. Basketball is my lifeblood, and I’ve been going for far too long without it, and without Marc Gasol.
Luckily, the Eurobasket championships in Spain are here! In fact, as I’m typing this, Spain — and Marc and Pau Gasol — are playing their first game of the Eurocup championships against Croatia. I’d really missed seeing Marc’s bearded, terrifying, beautiful, and virtuosic face.
EuroBasket has been booming more and more relevant in the last few years. More and more stars and superstars are coming from Europe, between Dirk, Ginboli, Ricky Rubio, the Gasol brothers, etc. More and more role players, too, are being picked up from EuropeBasket instead of College: Omri Casspi, Patrick Beverly (was gotten from the EuroCup league), Luis Scola, Mira Teletovic.
It’s getting to the point where there’s a huge value to watching Euroleague basketball. Beyond the fact that it’s, well, good (better than college by a pretty wide margin, I’d venture to say), but it offers us a chance to see into a whole continent of players who are potentially — if not immediately — NBA-level talent that we don’t normally get to see.
Plus, it’s a fantastic way for us Grizzlies fans to see in what ways Marc is improving as a player. He plays differently with his brother Pau than he does with ZBo on the Grizzlies (for one, he spends much more time on the low block), and the level of competition is much slimmer, that’s true. But still, we can watch for changes in his approach to working from the post and how he works his defensive magic on opposing teams, and wonder how that will apply to his improvement in the NBA.
At any rate, we here at Beale Street Bears will keep you updated with Marc and Spain’s performance as the EuroBasket tournament continues. Go Spain, and go Grizz!