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Published January 01, 2017
Game after game, season after season, the Gasol brothers are making NBA history.
Older brother Pau, 34, is in his 14th NBA season and his first with the Chicago Bulls. He’s scored 17,516 career points and hauled in 8,955 rebounds.
The stat site basketball-reference.com puts his probability of being inducted to the Hall of Fame at 78 percent.
The 30-year-old Marc, who has played his entire 7-year career with the Memphis Grizzlies, has significantly lower totals.
His chance at making the Hall of Fame is estimated at half of one percent.
But together, the seven-footers from Barcelona, Spain, are arguably the greatest brother act in NBA history. And on Sunday, they will become the first brothers to start an All-Star Game together.
Marc can hardly wait for one of the game's most mundane moments.
"I'm just really excited for the jump ball," he said.
That's because he will be jumping for it against Pau, and the two will be guarding each other.
Teammates on the Spanish national squad (and winners of two silver Olympic medals), once traded for each other and sharing a lifetime love of basketball that developed in their grandmother's backyard, Marc and Pau Gasol will make history as the first brothers to start in the All-Star game.
"That jump ball is going to symbolize a lot of things, different ways to do things with the same kind of goal and what we stand for as players and as men, so that jump ball is going to be unique," Marc told the Associated Press. "It's hard to put into words what that jump ball is going to mean."
Not for those who know the brothers best.
"When you're close to somebody like I am with those two guys, you feel really special," said Knicks guard José Calderón, a longtime teammate of the Gasols on the Spanish team.
"We've been working together and playing together for so many years, so it's like a brother, like family. I think it's really great for Spanish basketball, for Spain, even for the NBA.
You've got two brothers starting for two different conferences. I don't know if that is going to happen again in basketball."
Pau was elected to start for the Eastern Conference. Marc was voted by fans to start for the West.
"It's a beautiful thing. We are a lucky family," Pau said during a conference call with his brother.
They are the first siblings to play in the same game since Tom and Dick Van Arsdale in 1970 and '71.
Combined, the Gasols have scored more points (24,356) than any other brother combo except for Dominique and Gerald Wilkins (38,404) and the Van Ardales (29,311).
Soon they will surpass Horace and Harvey Grant as the brother tandem with most combined rebounds (at 12,821, they are only 58 behind the Grants).
It's the fifth All-Star appearance for Pau, who was a star from nearly the minute he came to the NBA. He was the 2002 Rookie of the Year and the MVP of the 2006 world basketball championship, and he won two titles with the Lakers after they acquired him from Memphis during the 2007-08 season.
Success for Marc, whose draft rights were traded from the Lakers to the Grizzlies in the deal, was slower and a little more unexpected — except to Pau.
"I'm just happy to see him do so well and also with his team, with the Grizzlies, a franchise that has also been a big part of my career," Pau said. "Just overall, a lot of pride, a lot of joy to see your brother do so well, and I know he's going to continue to do well."
Time together is rare during the season — especially now that they are in different conferences. So they will enjoy these days in New York, along with parents, wives, kids and other supporters.
And Marc should have plenty of them inside Madison Square Garden. A free agent this summer who could draw interest from the Knicks, he laughed off the idea that he might receive some of the loudest cheers Sunday.
"I think there's going to be many more popular guys than me in that arena, but I don't know how it's going to go," he said. "It's going to be one very unique night and I can't wait to enjoy it."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.
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