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Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at 8:00 am  |  151 responses

Top 50: Pau Gasol, no. 10

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Sandy Dover / @SandmanSeven

Pau Gasol. The best power forward in the NBA.

Really?

I mean, I know us followers of the League have known him to be good, and many times, he’d play very good. He certainly has been gifted. 7-feet tall, bulky enough for post play, but lithe enough to tip-toe around the basket. Sure, he played on some hopeful, but overmatched Memphis Grizzlies basketball teams. And when he helped the Los Angeles Lakers reach the NBA Finals, I think it’s safe to say that many of us felt he was a great stopgap for the absence of center Andrew Bynum; maybe we rationalized how he played as, “Well, the timing was right” or “His play was motivated by his disdain for the Grizzlies” or something to that effect. Maybe the clean cut look from his days in Espana and Tennessee fooled us first…and then the Don Quixote beard. But the best power forward in the League, Pau Gasol is? Surpassing the almighty Pau GasolTim Duncan?

Yes he is. When he was talked up as the premier international prospect in 2001, late in my junior year of high school, I noticed. When he banged on Kevin Garnett as a rookie, I noticed. When he was busy playing all three frontcourt positions at various times for a woeful Grizzlies club, I took note. While Pau was getting his reputation bruised when observers would callously say that he was soft, despite never having a great partner in the post to share his load, I watched him on spot-up jumpers, athletic drives to the basket, and fearless finishes at the hoop. When he was scoring between 17 and 20 points per game and rebounding around 8 balls in Tennesseee, he wasn’t part of the in-crowd.

But then he went to Los Angeles, and we should know the story. Kobe Bryant is going to always get the praise, and Pau needed Kobe…but Kobe needed Pau immensely. Oh, the soft Spaniard with all those post moves? The one who was begging for his electric? He was quickly supplanting his rivals as the fiercest big man in whatever town he chose to visit, and now he’s a champion twice by great fortune and chance. He is the fiercest big man in the game now. Pau is not going to patronize his opponents, he’s not going to settle as being merely a talented scorer, and he’s unafraid.

Timmy D has declined, putting in legendary work for the past 13 years (now going on 14 years).

KG has maximized his time and is trying to put things back together in a knee that may or may not comply with his desires.

Amar’e is busy being Amar’e, in New York of all places, and while he was one time an heir in receiving the post player’s crown, he’s since settled for being an offense-first, defense-somewhere-else kind of guy.

In the meantime, our hero Pau has maximized his presence. Remember how some of his critics in Memphis said he didn’t dominate enough, or implied that he was too skilled for his own good, maybe a little too fundamental for people’s taste? Well, he’s killing people with his skills on-court; the passing, the nimble footwork on too-fast-for-you spin moves, the high-post J, the low-post J, awkward-angled dunks on fastbreaks and defensive breakdowns, the charges, the blocks from both the strong side and weak side? He’s better served today, and his career 19 and 9 don’t tell his story quite as well. He was the silent Rodney Dangerfield in the old South, but he’s could be singing his best renditions of Aretha Franklin classics, if he so chose–but that’s not Pau.

Pau’s a winner, and a worldwide winner at that.

And winning is fundamental.

SLAMonline TOP 50 PLAYERS OVERALL RANK POSITION RANK
Player Team Position 2010 2009 2010 2009
Ray Allen Celtics SG 50 36 10 9
Gilbert Arenas Wizards SG 49 34 9 8
Lamar Odom Lakers PF 48 33 14 10
John Wall Wizards PG 47 NR 13 NR
OJ Mayo Grizzlies SG 46 46 8 12
Al Horford Hawks C 45 NR 6 NR
Jason Kidd Mavs PG 44 45 12 10
Joakim Noah Bulls C 43 NR 5 NR
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 42 39 13 12
David West Hornets PF 41 31 12 8
Monta Ellis Warriors SG 40 NR 7 NR
Andrew Bogut Bucks C 39 NR 4 NR
Yao Ming Rockets C 38 NR 3 NR
Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 37 NR 11 NR
Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 36 NR 11 NR
Stephen Curry Warriors PG 35 NR 10 NR
David Lee Warriors PF 34 NR 10 NR
Brook Lopez Nets C 33 NR 2 NR
Gerald Wallace Bobcats SF 32 NR 7 NR
Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 31 29 6 7
Tony Parker Spurs PG 30 15 9 3
Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 29 13 9 3
Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 28 44 6 9
Josh Smith Hawks PF 27 40 8 13
Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 26 26 5 6
Al Jefferson Jazz PF 25 23 7 7
Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 24 NR 8 NR
Chauncey Billups Nuggets PG 23 19 7 5
Tyreke Evans Kings PG 22 NR 6 NR
Danny Granger Pacers SF 21 21 5 5
Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 20 32 6 9
Paul Pierce Celtics SF 19 17 4 4
Joe Johnson Hawks SG 18 20 4 4
Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 17 27 5 8
Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 16 16 5 6
Steve Nash Suns PG 15 22 4 6
Tim Duncan Spurs PF 14 6 4 1
Chris Bosh Heat PF 13 13 3 4
Derrick Rose Bulls PG 12 18 3 4
Brandon Roy Blazers SG 11 10 3 3
Pau Gasol Lakers PF 10 14 2 5

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • Michael

    Not to be a dick but how is he the best PF in the league when you have him ranked 2 by positions? 1 is Dirk on this list isn’t it?

  • sample

    pau!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sample

    @michael didn’t you think that dirk is ranked higher than pau?

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    i agree with michael. dirk’s definitely better, but most of the article focuses on pau being the best PF… yet he’s ranked at number 2? odd inconsistency.

  • JR

    Not a bad ranking, I had him at 9 and D-will at the 10 spot.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    YESSS! Dirk is ranked higher than Pau. Luv it.

  • L

    I prefer my ranking so far:

    L Posted: Oct.8 at 8:18 am
    15 Steve Nash
    14 Chris Bosh
    13 Derrick Rose
    12 Tim Duncan
    11 Pau Gasol
    10 Brandon Roy
    9 Dirk Nowitsky
    8 Deron Williams
    7 Carmelo Anthony
    6 Dwight Howard
    5 Dwyane Wade
    4 Chris Paul
    3 Lebron James
    2 Kevin Durant
    1 Kobe Bryant

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’d take Dirk over Pau all day….and Pau has been fantastic for the Lakers for the last two seasons. Dirk’s overall skill is just too much to pass up.

  • ab40

    2010 finals mvp. there I said it

  • max

    You say he is the best Power Forward in the Game today and compare him with KG,TD,STAT but not once in your article you mention Dirk?Not once?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    San Dover, you’ve been called out on the carpet.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    So far my top 10 is perfect lol.

  • Iggie

    Ever think They have Dirk as a small forward not the pf that is where he started his career

  • http://slam evan thompson

    good rank and a good pf not better than dirk lol

  • Bruno

    good post but as everybody can see Pau is ranked #2 and no mention of the #1 PF in the list

  • Morgan

    I’m hoping Dirk is 9. The only reason he is better than Pau this season is that Dirk is “The Man” in Dallas and Pau is the number 2 option (probably the best no.2 option in the league behind lebron mind you). Apart from that you would have a difficult time seperating them.

  • Anthony

    Maybe it’s because im a Spurs fan but i really have a problem with Dirk, he’s fantastic player but his defense is really questionable and his rebound average is way too low (8.5 RPG) especially for a 7 footer.
    I would still take Dirk over Pau thought.

  • JoeMaMa

    I think, because of Dirk’s 3 point shooting, high post fadaways, and dislike for banging in the post have people thinking he’s a long, big 3. KG, Pau, TD, Amare…they’re all classic post guys (though each has a great mid range game) that gobble up boards and anchor the D (Amare not so much, Pau…well he’s pretty good with post D). Dirk is really a mix of a 3 and 4. Pau’s the best true 4…Dirk is the best of the two positions.

  • JoeMaMa

    Sorry, when I say ‘classic post’…I’m refering to 90s/00s post attributes. And it’s funny how sh*ttalked Pau was before he played a key role in winning back to back (to back?!) titles. I even thought less of him then…Pau really grew with the Lakers, and Kobe played a role in that. Pau’s gotten bigger, and if I’m not mistaken, he attributed that to Kobe’s weightroom dedication. Am I off with that one?

  • MUBWAR

    Are you guys talking about the same Dirk that collapse in the 2006 Finals losing 4 straight to Wade…Pau might not be as a prolific scorer as Dirk but he does everything else well including better rebounding, taking charges and blocks…

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    So you guys would take Dirk who is an inferior rebounder, defender, passer, and low post player? He has only avg a double-double once and that was in 01-02. Only thing he does better is score and he’s soft as they come.

  • MUBWAR

    and how come nobody is mentioning Bosh… last year didn’t he average better most of this fellas…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Dirk is a better basketball player ,but Pau is the better power forward …….if that makes any sense at all

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Dirk is a better basketball player ,but Pau is the better power forward …….if that makes any sense at all

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    With Bynum injured do you guys really think Dirk could bang with bigs and get the rebounds Pau got and enforce the middle if he played for LA? That team would be completely perimeter oriented…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    @ Kap…I’m not sure if Pau has REALLY shaken the soft label….I mean yeah, he’s played well in the playoffs the last couple of seasons (especially against the Celts this season) but in actuality, can it really be proven that he is “hard nosed” or some silly term like that? He’s a finesse big. Like Dirk. Like Bosh. These guys are not bangers. They use their skills to beat those bangers at their own game.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @Royal
    No he is the better scorer…Pau is the better all around player. You guys are only looking at what he does on offense and basing your knowledge on that.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    This time next year, Bosh would overtake Gasol. Can’t get over how lucky this dude is playing with Kobe and Phil all of a sudden in 07/08.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @Jono
    Pau is a winner everywhere he goes. Even in Memphis where he took them to there only two playoff berths. And Gasol may be the #1 option for LA until December while Kobe and Drew get healthy so I doubt Bosh overtakes Gasol while he is the #3 guy.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Kobe and Phil are the two who are lucky for getting this guy for Kwame Brown, Crittenton, and Marc Gasol.

  • Anthony

    Pau is in a perfect place with Kobe and Lamar, he fits perfectly. Dirk’s game is so atypic, he never had his “Robin” he was Batman all alone, he never has the perfect sidekick. Pau being number 10 in this ranking is due a lot to Kobe. And again im a Spurs fan, i hate this german dude but he’s a pain in the ass when we’re playing against him.

  • Aaron

    Dirk’s alright…

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    People still think Dirk is soft? He’s no TD, KG or Amare in physicality but imho he’s now out from being labeled soft..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Kap: Their career rebound totals are only a half a point off same with assists. All Pau does drasticly(sp) better is block shots. And Dirk scores much better than Pau. I’m not buying the soft label for either these players so lets not even consider that (Amare is not a good rebounder or defender is he soft?) . But like I said Dirk is the better basketball player while Pau is the better traditional power forward

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Dirk is considered to be better overall, but Pau is perfect for the Lakers systems.

  • Morgan

    @Royal – are Pau’s Offensive Rebounds higher than Dirks? I would have thought the number of Offensive boards a guy grabs indicates how much of a “banger” he is. Watching the lakers games – esp when Pau saved them with a last second offensive board – I would have thought Pau grabbed more. After all, its easier to grab defensive boards than offensive imo.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Good write-up Sandy and Pau is the main reason the Lakers beat the C’s in last june’s game 7.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    @Morgan: Pau has avg. like 1.5 more off. rebounds than Dirk in their careers so I guess Pau is more of a “banger” than Dirk. But I was never arguing against that…But good catch though

  • The D Train

    If you want to bring up playoff history we should probably all remember Pau’s record as the alpha-dog on Memphis. Revisionist history is fun and all, but Pau is a TREMENDOUS number 2 (since I hate the Lakers, I really like the way that line sounds), while Dirk has been the top guy on his team for a decade. In that time period he has definitely had some crappy playoff results, but he also was the key guy on a team that beat SA in SA in a game 7 a few years back. Over the course of his career he has beaten KG, Webber and Duncan all at, or near, their peaks in the playoffs. And if you check his career playoff avgs, 26, 11 and 3, you’ll see that all the talk about being soft has to be a bit off. Averaging 11 rebs in teh playoffs should quell that talk, at least in my opinion. He’s no superstar like a Kobe, Wade, Lebron, but one can make a pretty good case that he should be ranked above Pau.

  • Morgan

    @Royal – thanks for doing the stat work for me mate, I can’t get on nba.com at work so I’m heavily reliant on the good folks here til I get home. I agree with your view on the traditional PF vs. better basketball player that is Pau vs. Dirk. (Although Amare being soft or is Amare just lazy on the boards?) As a stat-lover I hope the two meet in the playoffs this season.

  • Reflex

    Anyone calling either Pau or Dirk soft is either an idiot or a jingoistic xenophobe.Both those guys bang hard in the paint. Don’t get it twisted.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    co-sign Royal; Pau is a better passer, defender and inside presence than Dirk. Dirk doesn’t really play the PF, he’s just a giant SF.

  • slick ric

    I’m glad they got Dirk rank above this guy, dirk gets no type of respect even though in my eyes he’s more of a hall of famer, because his game is so unique. I cant think of a player like him, Maybe Kevin Durant to a certain extent but he is the best power forward right know.

  • http://www.acb.com Alan

    Finally Pau’s in the top 10… I’ve waited years for this :-D
    Nowitzky plays the 3 better IMO, and overall maybe better than Pau because he’s option 1 in his team. But Pau is the best PF in the L right now.
    BTW I’d take Pau over D.Howard anyday. One-on-one Dwight can’t score vs Pau, and can’t defend all of Pau’s moves. Altough Dwight is better rebounder (being a beast phisically helps but doesn’t makes him better at bball)

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I think they should be tied for 10th place…

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I wouldn’t call Dirk or Pau ‘soft’. I think they both sometimes get called that because neither really relies on power moves and banging down low because they each have enough skill and finesse in their games that they don’t have to. Dirk scores better by spacing the floor and being 10-15ft from the basket. It’s not that he can’t post-up (because he does), however he has enough tools in his belt that he doesn’t have to – which is better for the Mavs system and maximizes the things he can do on the court. Pau plays more of traditional PF but still uses more quickness and skill than the power and force – like an Amare. I would take Dirk over Pau all day, not even close in my mind. Dirk can just do so much more. If they switched teams, the Mavs would lose a lot more games and the Lakers, with Dirk would likely win 5-10 more. Because of spacing on the floor and systems, Dirk doesn’t rebound at the same rate but that would change if he were in the triangle.

  • Bruno

    the nupe closed it all

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I think the Lakers would win at a higher clip too, Nupe, with Dirk in the mix instead of Pau. Kobe could draw and dish all day to Dirk. That could probably add 5 years to his career.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dirk is better than Pau and has been his entire career. This is not up for debate.
    Head to Head, Dirk opened up all of Pau’s orifices in the playoffs. Easily.

  • Rondo

    “I think it’s safe to say that many of us felt he was a great stopgap for the absence of center Andrew Bynum”

    On the contrary, I believe that was most people thought at the time was that that trade was the move that put the Lakers over the top, ctapaulting them to elite status.

    “max Posted: Oct.14 at 8:51 am
    You say he is the best Power Forward in the Game today and compare him with KG,TD,STAT but not once in your article you mention Dirk?Not once?” … or Chris Bosh

    Not the best of articles.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    how is this article going to call Pau the best PF in the NBA when Dirk hasn’t been called yet? Do ya’ll consider him a Center or Small Forward lol, what’a blatant mistake to open an article with.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    my bad i didn’t read a single comment before i posted that. Cosign everyone that said that before me. And Dirk is not “soft” he is just not physical.

  • KB8toSG8

    Well deserved Pau! Time for the 3Peat!

  • KB8toSG8

    After reading a few comments, I don’t think many guys here understand the difference between “soft” and “finesse”. If anyone here follows football, people don’t call Barca soft. They call them smart, elegant displaying finesse.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Well it’s closer than people think because Pau was the run away winner on the poll question on who the best PF a few days ago.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    That was many moons ago he dominated Pau in the playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    @Kap – those poll questions are not given to unbiased people. Laker fans dominate these message boards, and its pretty evident that there is a larger % that just read the articles. For proof look at the overall difference on that poll, there is no way the majority of people that voted, did so reasonably.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    No one remembers when the GSW and Stephen Jackson punked Dirk or Dejuan Blair in the playoffs last year? Thats what they mean by soft.

  • JTaylor21

    The MOST important laker is Pau not Kobe. The lakers would have gone nowhere let alone to 3 straight finals and win 2 chips without Pau. Kobe would have being stuck talk ish about teammates behind their backs and ball-hogging to even greater extremes.

  • http://twitter.com/soulonice6 Kenny

    Thank you, SLAM, for saving me from going on a tirade today. Pau is not, and never has been, better than Dirk, and the folks over there see it as well.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Yes the Lakers would improve offensively but I don’t think they would still be the best rebounding team in the league and one of the best defensive with Dirk. Also dirk does not have the post moves that Gasol possesses.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    if dirk was traded to the lakers for pau the lakers would win even more. he would open things up for the lakers center (whoever it may be at that time depending on injuries). Sweet passing too. His loyalty will cost him a championship, but it’s the honorable thing to do (not to mention he’s still making major bucks).

  • JTaylor21

    Kap, just because he doesn’t retaliate back at guys that get ultra aggressive with him doesn’t mean he’s soft. That’s what is wrong with people today they think the tough guy is the one that yaps his mouth the most and makes “mean” faces when it’s the guy that’s quiet and doesn’t look for trouble that’s usually the tough one. Dirk handles his business on the court and that’s all that matters, Malone was one of the toughest SOB of all-time and what does he have to show for it? NOT A DAMN THANG.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I guess as long as Dirk is the alpha dog in Dallas and Pau is second fiddle in LA there is no debate on who is better.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    To me, even though Dirk is called a power forward, he plays something similar to a center/small forward, if that makes any sense. I didn’t even compare the two. The styles are so different. Dirk may be a better overall player, but Pau is so true at the 4 to me. That was my “argument”–my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    *Kanye shrug*

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    Oh, and the lively discussion is cool. Good stuff.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I wouldn’t call dirk “soft” in that playoff series 3 years ago. (it was 3 years ago). Stephen Jackson was just the answer to dirk from a defensive standpoint. Dirk averaged 11RPG, more then 1BPG, 1spg. he jus shot 38% from the field and 20something%fom 3. There is a difference between soft and locked down

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    I wouldn’t view Dirk as “soft” either. I don’t necessarily agree with Dirk doing better with the Lakers than Pau though; Cause when the opposing guards swiss-cheese the Lakers perimeter D (and they DO), Bynum and Pau are usually the only things stopping them from easy lay-ups. I can’t recall Dirk ever stopping anything.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    JTaylor: Without Kobe, Pau would still be getting swept in the first round and would be about 5-10 spots lower on this list. Kobe and Pau needed eachother to take their careers to the next level……

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If Dirk gets docked for being soft against Golden State, which he was, then Pau was soft as hell against KG in the Finals. When they went straight up as “the man” on their teams, Dirk straight abused Pau. It was ugly.
    I mean, come on son, KG was nervous as hell and STILL took, Gasol’s manhood. If Garnett didn’t have a bum leg this year, it would have been more of the same.
    Unlike most people, I noticed that Gasol didn’t want any parts of KG when he faced up on the block and straight bullied him. Garnett was just too hobbled to really dominate.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    Pau is better than Dirk. Dirk may be the better scorer, but Pau is the better rebounder, passer, and defender. Pau won game 7 in the finals, Ron hit 1 big shot in the 4th but Pau carried the team in the 4th when the Lakers were down. Pau is the best big man in the league, yes even better than Dwight.

  • Slips

    The “soft” label dirk gets is so hilarious these days. Watch the guy play instead of perpetuating a myth. Idiots.

  • unrel

    this is a list of assumed production.. not a ranking of who’s better than who.. and as a power forward.. pau is light years better than dirk.. why?.. because dirk isn’t a prototypical PF..

  • JTaylor21

    clipsfan, neg*o please. Dirk has and would abuse Pau and it’s not even close. Switch dirk with gasol on that 08 lakers team and I bet that he doesn’t get abused by KG and the lakers at least take it to a GM7 instead of getting walloped by 38 points in the deciding game. Even if Dirk never wins a chip, he still will be a first-ballot can’t say the same about Pau if he never goes to LA.

  • The D Train

    Kung Pau’s playoff record sans Kobe: 0-12. Also, Dirk averages more rebs per playoff game than Pau. And if not mistaken, Dirk is one of only 4 guys to avg a 25 and 10 in the playoffs for his career. That one doesn’t usually seems to get thrown into the discussion when people want to talk about Dirk choking or being soft. Just like 0-12 record without Kobe doesn’t get thrown in the Gasol is the best 4 in the league discussion.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    JTaylor and Phillis … I am glad you two know that you are both the last commentators anyone wants to listen to. Congratulations, you two, the greek dude, and the seed are all sailing the same ship. I am glad everyone finally sees how much bullsh1t ya’ll speak. You two have made countless commentators who knew the game of basketball and who had something good to say, leave. So, good job on being the sh1t stain on the underwear that is SLAM.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ^James the Balla layin down the truth – slam needs some baby powder

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Anyways. I am the biggest Lakers fan out of here. But before the Pau Gasol trade, and when Bynum was playing great, the Lakers were number 1 in the West. Pau Gasol has been the perfect fit for the O the Lakers play. That being said, I would take Dirk over Pau no questions asked. Pau has a great argument for best power forward, but who knows what Bosh will do this year having the 2 biggest threats in the NBA on his team. And Dirk’s shot puts him above Pau in my mind, plus Dirk is usually a beast in the playoffs, when his team isn’t choking. A rested Tim Duncan is in my mind better than Gasol as well, even at Tim’s age.
    1. Kobe
    2. Wade
    3. Bron
    4. Durant
    5. Paul
    6. Deron
    7. Dwight
    8. Carmelo
    9. Dirk
    10.Gasol

  • Tyler Whitcomb

    Gasol is 6 or 7! Way to low, people undervalue Pau all the time.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    This is bad enough, but if Dirk and Deron are ranked behind Carmelo then I’m quitting SLAM.

  • SP

    Dirk has no rings. Understand his skills are better but still he can’t seem to win a ring???

  • feez22

    Pau was a winner wherever he went? WTF are some of you people smoking? FACT: before pau got on the lakers the grizz didn’t even win a PLAYOFF GAME nevertheless winning anything. FACT: Pau on the grizz was even worse of a leader and player overall than a bosh was to toronto or than dirk is in dallas. Remember guys YOU ARE THE ONES that said that top 10 ranked players should be franchise players… guess what? GASOL is NOT a franchise player and has never been capable of doing so he was a 2nd banana from the damn get go. Seriously the double standards are ridiculous… and gasol better than dirk? WTF? Dirk Nowitzki even with the slack he takes has lead a team to the damn finals pretty much on his own will as the clear cut leader. Dirk is a better shooter, better leader, MUCH MORE CLUTCH,and most of all LEADS his team as the clear cut man and only all star to the playoffs every damn year. People just don’t like to give him the respect he clearly deserves. Final Verdict: Pau gasol is OVERRATED. there i said it. no other way to explain it. pau being top 10 in this is straight out ridiculous seeing as you people that bash bosh/rose/roy for not having the fire or intensity to be a leader go ahead and praise gasol for being a piece on the best team in the league? you praise gasol for not being a fiery leader anywhere yet you bash the 3 picks before him? OVERRATED he doesn’t score better than bosh or dirk, doesn’t defend better than garnett/duncan yet he is top 10… ridiculous.

  • feez22

    Final Verdict #2: Even though i am not a huge fan of kobe’s clearly the only player that he has made look better than he actually is probably in his whole career is the man of the hour pau gasol. Yes i said it. Kobe makes pau better. its a miracle. btw to people saying pau is more important than kobe to the lakers think of it this way: without kobe the thunder would have beat the lakers in 5 in the first round. even though kobe played bad without kobe in the thunder would be able to double up on pau and play straight up on the shooters… and we all should know by now by pau’s yrs in memphis and L.A. that pau doesnt fare well against double teams… Kobe is clearly the most important piece on the lakers even if he does blow it and volume shoot.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Thanks NBk.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    word james, hope everything is going well for you bro

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    9. Melo
    8. JTaylor
    7. Dirk
    6. CP3
    5. That guy in your rec league whose solution to his terrible shooting is to keep shooting
    4. Amare’s pride
    3. LeBronmination
    2. Justin Bieber
    1. Shaq

  • http://www.myczechrepublic.com SAB

    another amazing article from Slam’s worst writer. please stop printing this rubbish. as soon as this started with “best PF” talk i thought, wtf are you on, and i couldn’t finish the article for the nonsense it was spouting. scrolled back to the top, saw the author’s name and suddenly it made sense. incredible.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Things are good, on leave being bored out of my tree. Trolling SLAM trying my a$$ off to not post because every comment has JTaylor and Phillis writing dumb sh1t after each comment.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    i hear you, its too bad everyday reminders don’t do the trick. i threatened to report taylor the other day but he don’t care, or doesn’t realize. either way his (and others) “indifference to logic and manners” takes a lot of enjoyment out of this site. I remember 2 years ago when I was new to slam this place was the site to go to to get a real fans logical perspective and read some really interesting back and forths. speaking of the old days, what happened to Tad?

  • The Philosopher

    James tha Balla:
    You love my hyperbole.
    I am the prince of hyperbole.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    check what dirk did against denver in the playoffs in 09. he straight ABUSED that front court:
    34ppg, 11.6 rpg, 4 apg, on 53% fg, 92% ft.
    that whole series. ridiculous!
    still lost the series though

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Agreed. I have been on this thing since the start, but I like reading yahoo sports comments a little more now because the ignorant commentators don’t post usually more than once. Here, it is every second post. LIke right now, look at Phillis. Everyday it’s long live the king, and hyperbole. JTaylor, if it’s something he doesn’t like, he is basically racist, like his comment towards Europeans and Nazi’s last week. It’s hard to handle some days. I try not to post that much anymore because you get into conversations like what Bryan Crawford got into 2 weeks ago with those guys. JTaylor should be banned, everyone has agreed, Phillis is just a troller, worst than seed.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    i’ve been on the yahoo boards a couple times. I just think those that do “know the game” in here are more knowledgable then everywhere else. But good to hear your doing well man, maybe you can get slam to create “insider articles” that are free but you must earn your way into commenting on them lol

  • Blackphantom

    I’d take Dirk over Pau if I wanted more points & skill. I’d take Pau over Dirk if wanted more rebounds & defense. (I know Pau isn’t the greatest defensive PF in the world, but he’s about above average when it comes to D, Dirk is not a better rebounder than Pau in any way, shape, or form)

  • The Philosopher

    Keep your head up, James.
    It will be fine.
    And again, you love my… hyperbole. lol

  • Armando

    How Gasol was with Memphis is irrelevant..

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Milk Carton: TADOne.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    still a lot of non-believers of Pau. I urge anyone that doesn’t think Pau is the best big man in the game to rewatch the 4th quarter of Game 7. First all those clutch shots. like the one he was triple teamed on and still made it. Then he had all those huge rebounds, especially those 6 big offensive rebounds. Then the biggest oversight was who had the biggest assist of the night. Pau did, not the Kobe to Artest. Pau got the assist when he passed out of the double to Fisher who hit the game tying 3 pt shot. Then in the late stages he was triple teamed and hit a cutting Kobe for an and one finish. Oh yeah not to mention his FTs were the ones that gave the Lakers the lead.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ^^ HAHA thanks Ryne

  • The Philosopher

    And, James:
    You did not even know the word, “hyperbole” until I used it.
    So, you learned a new word from me, today.
    I will be expecting my check expeditiously.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    worse*
    lol VIP style. I don’t think I am better than anyone on here. And I am in no way a genius. But I do know when to not turn the best basketball site on the planet into a playground for arrogant pr1cks.
    Yes, you taught me new words Phil, thank you. Go Bron, we know.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    i didn’t mean it like “better” i just meant approved based on good behavior lol

  • http://slamonline.com SpaceJam

    Dirk is better than Pau, Only thing Gasol has him in is post moves and offensive rebounding, and defense by a little bit. Neither are soft but they ain’t the toughest cookie either. Dirk is a better scorer all-around player and much more clutch. In Pau’s 3 playoff series in memphis as “The Man” they didn’t win one game. Dirk took a team to the finals as “The Man” and has won multiple series with his play. Pau gets to play with the best player in the world so he just got put in a very good situation. Dirk over Pau any day

  • http://www.slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    Dirk > Gasol

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    How the hell is Pau the better rebounder?
    Based on what? This was the first time dude ever averaged ten boards a game, let alone 20 and 10. Hell in Memphis he regularly put up 18 and 8 in more than 30 minutes a game.
    Stop the madness.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Re all in favor of banning JTaylor21: *raises hand*

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    underated, best big in the league should be higher

  • Anthony

    @Anton: so you got Kobe in 5

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    hand raised* (but dude will be back, with a different name)

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    *raise hand*

  • JTaylor21

    ^Yeah, raise y’all hands in the air and HATE like you just don’t care. If you a hater and you know it, my distant relative Phyuck Yoo would like a word.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The comments section is a place to further discuss the topics in this post. Commenters who seek to accomplish any of the following may be banned:
    - Personally attack other commenters.

    - Make derogatory comments regarding race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

    - Troll, or comment with the intention of creating problems. Trolling includes, but isn’t limited to, baiting people to flame at you, encouraging people to leave the site, spamming and using alternate IDs.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    I findthsi discussion hilarious when it comes to dissing Pau because he plays with Kobe. Ummm I bet none of the same guys would punish Magic for playing with Cap

  • JTaylor21

    nbk, give up already. You and your I Hate J VeintiUno fan-club are fighting a losing battle. You can’t ban me like the Snowman.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Ju Veinti …

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Okay, so Pau isn’t completely overrated. Good.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Not only is Dirk > Pau..
    Chris Bosh also > Pau.
    Anyone who argues this clearly doesn’t want to remember that Bosh was way better as the leader of the Raptors than Gasol was as the leader of the Grizzlies.

  • j4zzm4n

    severely underrated he is top 8 for sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000580635564 Bryan

    No one gets banned on here. Dirk is better than Pau , but Pau is actually a better rebounder. His years in Memphis his minutes were fairly limited , (31 or 32 a game) and he was still grabbing 8 a game. Dirk Has been close to ten twice but Pau has been close to ten twice and also grabbed over 11 last year. He also averages more boards over his career than Dirk in one less minute per game. Plus Dirk is nonexistent on the offensive glass.

  • http://scott.r.carter10@gmail.com Scott Carter

    #9 will be Dirk Nowitzki.

  • The D Train

    Dirk takes the most shots on the Mavs every year. Gasol spends a good portion of his evenings chasing down Kobe’s mis-fires. Not saying he is or is not a better rebounder than Dirk, but that is probably something to consider if trying to explain Gasol’s .5 per game advantage in rebounds over Dirk. For all the talk about Gasol being a superior rebounder, that is a relatively small advantage when comparing their career avgs per game. It is even more difficult to claim a clear advantage for Gasol when one considers that Dirk averages 1.1 more rebs per playoff game than Gasol, when, in theory, you would be playing against better competition every night. Seems to me the only way you can say Gasol is definitely a superior rebounder is if you throw factual data out the window. Of course, we all know that a lot of people on this site never let facts get in the way of a good argument.

  • thegfunk

    KG 2000 to 2007. Straight ballin!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    No question Pau is a better rebounder than Dirk, but Bosh is a better rebounder than both. And a more prolific scorer than Pau. Dirk is probably better than both, but just saying… Bosh > Pau.

  • http://yahoo.com eboyhater

    im in favor of banning jtayler and eboy due it now slam

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    I don’t have a problem with The Philosopher.. But JTaylor is another case. In his comments, the insults overshadows his arguments to the point that everyone hates him. He seems to care to throw insults more than argue a basketball topic. Just my observation.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Whoa, 1st Spanny gets exposed for what he is (Slam’s megatrill) and now there are more cries for commenter banning on this thread? I agree with whoever said that the comments section has degraded in quality (and manners), but it’s not the commenters job to police the place. Ryne et al are the ones who should be handing out reprimands but since i’ve only seen this done once by Susan over the years, i’m not holding my breath. Nice Dirk > Pau discusdion here though, luv it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    yo bryan Dirk has an actual reason to be absent on the offensive glass. All offense comes from him, if you shoot the most, and pass to assist or pass to the shooter the most (which isn’t true he passes to kidd first then kidd to passer but dirk is away from the basket, or else he would have shot) then ofcourse you will not be in good position to get offensive rebounds.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    By the way, I think Dirk is better than Pau. Don’t get it twisted, but I believe Dirk is more of a small forward or high-post center. My opinion of Pau as the league’s best power forward is my way of conveying how strong of a player he is, and it works for Pau being rated as the 10th best player in the league, by SLAM.

    With that said, even I’d take Dirk over Pau, if I had to chose between the two players, regardless of position.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    I’d take Dirk over Pau too. Primes ofcourse, and as a Robin to someones Batman. Dirk stretches the floor nicely. He can make a living spotting up, off-ball, isolation. Pau will die doing just spotting up shots. Sure that’s not maximizing Pau if you don’t run plays for him, but you know there are times you won’t be effective in your area as you usually do because of the defense. So having Dirk who can score anywhere is better. And their defensive gap is close. Therefore Dirk for me.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    you´ll foRGETTING DEFENSE, in witch Pau is A LOT BETTER than Dirk and Bosh, valid arguments though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000580635564 Bryan

    What was his excuse when he shared the ball with Finley and Nash? I mean Amare gets more offensive boards. Plenty of guys get offense ran through them but can still crash the boards. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a reason to get LESS offensive boards than Pau, among others. But LESS than TWO is inexcusable.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    that was 6 years ago bryan. irrelavant – he was hardly the player he is now then.

  • slick ric

    I’m not on this whole pau is great defensively, he o.k. but its his length that factors in the most, plus having bynum does not hurt either.Amare did his thang against him when he had his head on right. plus when they lost the finals against Boston I didnt see his great defense without bynum.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Pau gasol is not a good defender. What in the world him and dirk are equally awful

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL @ eboyhater. Funniest screen name in a long time. No offense to the real Eboy… You’ve gotta be laughing too. lmao.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    @Nbk, I generelly respect what u say but youre dead wrong son…if you say hes not A GREAT defender i can agree, saying hes not good is foolish, sorry…P&R, straight post up and weakside: hes good in all those 3 situations, very good in some of them

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    I admit he is a decent to good help defender 15 feet and in. Pau Gasol is above average defending undersized centers and unathletic pf’s but straight up against an above average pf or bigger stronger center he is soft. When Bynum is around it hides a lot of gasol’s issues.

  • JoeMaMa

    @Teddy: Bosh is better than Pau? We’re both Raps fans, and I still like Bosh, but Pau grew UP the past couple of years. In game 7 of the Finals he got 19 and 18. Pau’s really come into his own the past couple of years. IF Bosh plays that kind of role, than me and all the other Raps fans will at least content ourselves knowing we had, for some time, a real gem. But Bosh’s value stems from what he MAY do, Pau’s from what’s he DONE. For that reason, I give the nod to Pau…but I think Bosh, in the next couple of years, and if used correctly, will be that guy.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    @JoeMaMa Yup. But I’m pretty sure Gasol won’t get away with numbers like that in big games. Esp against the Celtics/Magic. If it’s in the finals against the Heat, I can see Bosh playing to his full potential and outshining Gasol. Gasol has seriously got away with too much and has been overly lucky. He had his time and this is the last we’ll see of him in anyones top 10 list.

  • VisionofGreatness

    Pau is by far the most skilled big man in the League. It’s about time he gets his respect and recognition.

  • paolo paolo

    Dirk is better player overall and his record as a franchise player has been really solid, while Pau could not deliver as a go-to guy. That makes this discussion pointless.

    But I would say more would want Gasol at his moment, because of the way how his game is build. What makes Pau really invaluable in todays game is his inside game. One of very few guys to able to post up and score with consistency. Game IQ is off-chart, making him read situations so well and make sharp cuts to the basket. Long-reaching hands and ability to keep the ball above his head causes insolvable problems for so many.

  • Armando

    @Slick ric: Yes, obviously his length is a factor, but is having a 7-4 wingspan an argument against Pau’s defense? Really? If he had short arms he wouldn’t be as good a defender? Duh… He’s a decent defender. Not all-NBA, but good enough to be a factor against 90% of NBA fours and fives as well as in pick and roll situations, and from the weak side. Yes he benefits from being a Laker, but if anything it’s made him fulfill his potential, if there was a stat for it he would be the league leader in least bad decisions per game. Haven’t seen this guy take an ill-advised/”bad” shot in his time with the Lakers, and his passing has been at a Divac/Webber level.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    @James the wanna be Balla Posted: Oct.14 at 5:05 pm
    Man I don’t troll anyone, you haven’t been on the site in a while cat. I am the true Laker number one fan up here anyway. Dude go take your wack self and disappear for a few months again. The whole site loved it. Pau is being overrated he is playing like he played in Memphis all those years, he just is surrounded with Kobe and on Lakers so of course now he is being considered better. If you watched games when he played for Memphis, I would say he played better for the Grizzles than what he has played on the Lakers and people pointing out game seven wow. Why couldn’t he do it three years ago or play better last year. 20 and 10 is not hard for a big man to get on a good team. I would take Bosh and Dirk over Pau and would seriously consider Al Jefferson too. BOOK IT!!

  • MichaelWhyte11

    I cant believe people are ranking KD above Lebron. Its truly ignorant. The thunder had a great year and surprised many. Kevin scored the ball well and earnt respect on another level. Even so his passing and defense is still par. His ability to play well in the playoffs is still unknown. Lebron is the second best player in the league. I give kobe his due. Dont be naive people

  • JH

    Need 4 more people for a competitive H2H Yahoo League drafting this Sunday. Feel free to join…but be active.

    League ID#: 12722
    League Name: Justice League
    Password: password
    Draft Type: Live Standard Draft
    Draft Time: Sun Oct 17 8:00pm MDT [ Add to My Calendar ]
    Max Teams: 12
    Scoring Type: Head-to-Head

  • KobeNash1234

    Pau is the best big man in the game, probably would have ranked him higher but still a good placement.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    Pau > Dirk.

  • Mike from Spain

    I am too biased, I cannot really enter the argument about Dirk vs Pau with a clear head. Pau Gasol is the best bball player from Spain ever, I can’t really argue about who’s better. If you want I can concede the point to you, Dirk may be better, but my man Gasol got two rings. Perhaps he’s not cut to be a franchise player, but I would rather get him on my team than Bosh or D Howard. Not so sure about Dirk, I guess it depends on who are the other pieces you have in your team… or would you take Dirk over Pau in any team?

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Top 50: Kobe Bryant, no. 2

  • Ferguson

    Without Gasol Lakers would have not win last 2 NBA rings, no doubt about it.

    Gasol created and immediate impact to Lakers when he arrived and changed the balance in the west side of the league, burying definitely San Antonio dominance and closing another incipient efforts as Mavericks ones.

    Gregg Popovich said after very few games when Pau was traded that it was the greatest steal in NBA History and proposed a trade committee that oversees NBA trades.

    Jerry West: “Gasol’s a terrific kid, a very skilled offensive player. He’s got size and versatility. He’s a very good player. It’s a terrific deal for the Lakers. He’s a wonderful person. Very team-oriented. If you’re around him, you’ll find he’s not aloof. I have nothing critical to say about him. This is a steal for the present.”

    Last year, after missing the first 11 games with a hamstring injury, Phil Jackson was worried and openly saying they were not playing well. Gasol came back and immediately helped the Lakers win 10 straight games.

    Pau Gasol is a essential element to the Lakers’ dominance, and just might be the most underrated player in the NBA. He does not have tattoos, is quiet, humble, has a workman attitude.

    Dirk Nowitzy is a terrific player but I personally do not think that with him and without Paul Lakers would have won last 2 titles. Dirk would have not created that impact neither in the Lakers game nor the League.

  • Taylor

    Dirk is doubled and literally triple teamed on a nightly basis. If you watch the Mavs, yous see that the entire team rests on Dirk, with no true robin by his side.

    Pau is second banana to Kobe Bryant. Think about how much that opens up the court for Pau. Dirk and Hakeem are the two best international players to ever play in the NBA.

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