Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  27 responses

Pau Gasol Prefers ‘European Style of Basketball’ in the NBA

I have no clue what “European style of basketball” means, but I’m sure that won’t stop many from crucifying Pau Gasol for saying that’s his preference. Per Ball in Europe: “The ACB official website (and just about every other Spanish-language outlet for sports news) offers a lengthy piece on Pau Gasol, based on interviews with French newspaper L’Equipe. Highlighted in the Spanish league reportage is Pau’s line to the effect that ‘I prefer the European game in the NBA because basketball is a team sport and is more beautiful to watch when players pass the ball or when ball movement creates shots.’ (Gods know what language this interview took place in, so bear in mind that this quote is probably emerging by way of English to French to Spanish and back to English; however, surely the sentiment survives through this mutant translation.) Gasol also seemingly put to rest any notions of his playing for FC Barcelona this season, stating that he’s only training with the club and that it wouldn’t be ‘fair’ were he activated only to have to return to America for the NBA season. With his addition to the team, Gasol reckons that ‘the Barça game would change. In the end, my starting the season with the team would penalize them.’”

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  • Yesse

    It means team ball and referees don’t let people like LeBron get away with a travel.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    It means less athletic players have an opportunity to matter.

  • dabigfundamental

    Hehehe. Good one Yesse! It also means the ref probably didn’t bet any money on one of the teams before the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    God knows

  • coco

    it means the defense flopping in every layup

  • ikfjasd

    “It means team ball and referees don’t let people like LeBron get away with a travel.”

    ^ THIS

  • Russ M

    Haven’t watched alot of European ball but last yr tuned in a bit & first thing I noticed was when the PG was receiving some defensive pressure a long, long way from the hoop (just a few steps across the half-court line)a big would come running all the way from inside the foul line to set a pick. And then(!) would roll towards the basket with his hand up in the air, giving the PG a target. They were running a pick & roll 50-something ft from the basket! Yes, “Eurprean style ball” is different. But don’t knock it. VERY often this “style” translates into alot of W’s, no matter what continent you’re playing it on.

  • bike

    It basically means white man’s basketball. More passing, better team play, less high flying alley-oop slam dunk showmanship. Some people like it, some don’t.

  • Gogs

    When you compare this game to an American high school all star game you’d draw the same conclussion. In America far superior athletes but european players seem alot more fundamentally sound and play better team basketball as opposed to one on one off the dribble.
    This is the Fiba u-18 european all star game

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It means more acting, more flailing, more flopping and more acting like a woman on the court. Picture what Manu, Vlade and Sabonis do after the slightest hint of contact and times that by a 1,000, that’s what the NBA would look like.

  • Gogs

    @jtaylor how many european games have you actually seen?

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/mediator-111018/nba-lockout-george-cohen-save-season Allenp

    More passing. Less contact in the post. Less isolation. More zone.
    That’s what I think of when I think of Euro ball.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/mediator-111018/nba-lockout-george-cohen-save-season Allenp

    Euro players are not more fundamentally sound. That is crap.
    People think its fundamentally sound to pass a lot and shoot from the outside well.
    What about ball handling? What about the footwork and knowledge of angles needed to attack off the bounce?
    What about defensive positioning? What about correct rotations in the man to man?
    All of that is “fundamentals.” And in all of those areas, Americans are superior.
    Euros are superior at ball movement, player movement, general shooting and footwork. Well, maybe not footwork.
    It’s ridiculous to call Euro ball “fundamental” ball. It hearkens back to the old discussions of “natural” talent versus “skill” in my opinion.

  • ussieballer

    AllenP, I hope that by “superior ball handling” you don’t mean “can dribble the ball continuously on the spot, between the legs and behind the back, without making any forward progress towards the basket?”

  • Red Star

    Pau Gasoft!

  • bike

    It’s not surprising that a player like Gasol would favor the Euro game. He isn’t the type of player that favors strong contact down low, he is an excellent passing big man, and is more likely to be more effective in a zone defense—hence the occasional ‘soft’ tag. His perception that the Euro game is more beautiful is a matter of personal preference. The nba, over time, changed many of the rules to favor the more up tempo game because that’s what everyone supposedly wanted. And the player’s skill sets also evolved over time to fit to the up tempo game.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/mediator-111018/nba-lockout-george-cohen-save-season Allenp

    Ussie baller
    Um, have you watched the NBA players play in international competitions?
    They typically have ZERO problem advancing the ball off the dribble. Conversely, Euros have all kinds of problems against pressure defense.
    True or False?
    More importantly, look at the American imports at guard. They may be bad shooters, or struggle and running a team, but they never, EVER struggle at breaking their individual man down off the bounce. The big problem is that in Euro ball, with the zones, just getting by your man doesn’t have the same reward that it has in American ball, and you need to know how to make the smart pass, or take the right shot once you make your move.
    So, again, American players are better ballhandlers. Rudy Fernandez, Navarro and that old cat who played for GSW and slummed are proof of that.

  • Ivo.L

    i’m european and the euro basketball style is… more ball movement, team play, better shooting, more physical in defense, europeans are not great ball handlers or atlethic players…. you don’t have the hand checking there i’m not criticizing NBA style i love the NBA style, but i like to watch the euroleague and ACB league too… my opinion NBA all the way… you still have good european players and if you compare an PF or a C in the old days with the the euro style i can only say this a Center in europe can shoot, pass and rebound and PF too you still have good examples like Nowitzki, Radja, Sabounis, Kukoc, Schrempf, Smits

  • EJ

    I really hate the way players train in Europe. People need more individual skills training and tons more athletic training. It’s just unbelieveable how people seem to totally neglect the athletic aspect of the game.
    Now when you put that together with a good team attitude, you get something beautiful.
    And also I hate that crap about Euro players being more fundamentally sound. Most players just seem so clumsy and slow, no body control to speak of. How can those players be fundamentally sound when the post and dribble moves are just awkward?
    Honestly, I think WNBA is just about as entertaining as Euro ball, not saying that’s bad tho.

  • robb

    In European basketball the taller players are more fundamentally sound (6’10 and above). They can shoot better they can pass better and they have a better post game.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I disagree about physicality on defense.
    Y’all allow moving screens and more grabbing and holding, but you’re not more physical in my opinion which is what confuses American players. If you get your body into somebody, which is how Americans are taught to play defense, it’s a foul. If you grab and hold, it’s not. It’s weird.
    Please… After Pau Gasol, who is a great Euro on the block? Vasquez? Splitter? Soro? Only Gasol is a real problem to be honest.
    In the US, you still have Duncan and KG plugging along. You have Randolph. You have Aldridge. You have Dwight Howard.
    All Euros cannot shoot, most of them are good passer and their post games depend on the player.

  • MikeC.

    I love the hand-checking on the perimeter. It makes me miss Derek Harper.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    It means flailing wildly when the ref hands you the ball for the INBOUNDS pass….

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    ivo L – I recall a delicious behind the back no look pass from smites to Williams in the all-star game…

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a European preferring a European style of basketball.

  • Hong

    The Euro “zone” is a myth. There’s probably around 90 percent man to man in Europe.

  • Ivo.L

    Dacre true i remember that pass lol


    the old days i’m talking about the old NBA C and PF

    even now you have Nowitzki and Gasol… they are the true eurostyle big men players

    but if you want i can tell you other players that play in the euroleague and ACB too bro… in the old days for me KG had that he could do everything on court pass, shoot, rebound and defend today i can only remember Stoudemire without the defense, Aldridge maybe he can’t pass like STAT, STAT is more complete, ball handling, post moves, mid range shooter and he can run the floor pretty well for a PF, not Howard i think he is a pure Center he doesn’t have the eurostyle of play look at this year draft and you will see a lot of guys with that eurostyle of play, like Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely, Nikola Vucevic, Donatas Motiejunas, Nikola Mirotic… but you have Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Mitch McGary