Memphis, Tennessee, February 9, 2006 —The NBA announced today that Grizzlies forward/center Pau Gasol has been named as a reserve on the Western Conference All-Star Team. Gasol becomes the Grizzlies’ first All-Star in franchise history and the first Spanish player in NBA history to be selected to an All-Star team. He will make his All-Star debut at NBA All-Star 2006 in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. (CST) on TNT.
“This is one of the biggest honors a basketball player can receive,” said Gasol. “I’m extremely happy and grateful to be in this situation. I’m very proud to be representing the Grizzlies, Memphis and the entire country of Spain.”
The 7-foot, 240-pound forward/center is averaging 19.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 39.4 minutes, all career bests. He leads the team in all major statistical categories except assists, where he ranks second, and is the only Grizzly to start all 48 games this season. He also leads the team and ranks 15th in the NBA with 19 double-doubles.
Gasol, 25, a former Rookie of the Year (2001-02), is one of only four players to appear in the top ten in points, rebounds, assists and blocks among Western Conference forwards this season and also appears in the top 25 in the league in more than 15 statistical categories. Gasol also ranks 13th in the NBA in blocks this season at 1.96 bpg, anchoring the top scoring defense in the league (Grizzlies holding opponents to 87.8 ppg this season).
A total of 14 All-Star reserves (seven each from the Eastern and Western Conferences) were chosen by a vote of the 30 NBA head coaches. Coaches were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences (two guards, two forwards, one center and two players regardless of their position) and were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.
Coverage of this year’s All-Star festivities begins Friday, Feb. 17 on ESPN and TNT and concludes Sunday, Feb. 19, as Gasol and the rest of the NBA’s elite take the floor at the Toyota Center for the 55th NBA All-Star Game at 7 p.m. on TNT.
Join the team in welcoming Pau home post All-Star break on Ten Buck Tuesday/Enjoy Spain Night.
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