After notching up 20 points in Spain’s EuroBasket game against Hungary on Thursday, Pau Gasol has become the all-time highest scorer in the tournament, reaching a total of 1,111 points.
The 37-year-old, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, helped his country’s preliminary-round win in the tournament, being held in Romania, and in the process overtook the standing record of 1,104 points held by his teammate in the Spurs, Frenchman Tony Parker.
He is the best player I have ever coached. He always knows how to take the best decision
Coach Sergio Scariolo
Gasol scored a three-pointer in the second quarter, putting the score at 18-33 in the 16th minute, taking the record in his stride. When the news was announced over the loudspeaker system, the crowd went wild, continuing to cheer as Spain maintained their 100% record at EuroBasket 2017 with a 64-87 win, closing the first round with five victories.
“It had been on my mind and I wanted to get it over with,” said Gasol after the match. “We are here as a team, our success is going to be based on how well we play together, how well we focus on the upcoming games, which are the most important ones,” he added.
Gasol now joins the list of point-scoring legends in the European basketball championships, which began in 1935. Gasol has beaten Parker’s record of 1,104 points, Dirk Nowitzki’s 1,052, and Nikos Gallis’s 1,030.
Gasol has been playing professionally for 19 years, 16 of them in the NBA, where he has scored 20,000 points
Gasol has been playing professionally for 19 years, 16 of them in the NBA, where he has scored 20,000 points in his more than 1,100 matches. He has represented Spain 2,004 times, scoring more than 3,500 points.
The Catalan first appeared at EuroBasket in 2001, and has helped Spain to victory in the tournament on three occasions: in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
Formerly of Barcelona, Memphis Grizzlies, LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls, Gasol is also a two-time EuroBasket MVP winner (2009 and 2015).
“He is the best player I have ever coached. He always knows how to take the best decision,” said Spain’s coach, Sergio Scariolo, after the win over Hungary.
English version by Nick Lyne.