Two playoff teams last year, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies, now have to hope the lockout doesn't last too long.
FC Barcelona, arguably Europe's best basketball team, has given brothers Pau and Marc Gasol, who play for the Lakers and Grizzlies respectively, permission to practice with them during the NBA lockout. The team said the two big men can practice with them until the NBA resolves its differences with the players
Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies' up-and-coming center who broke out last season, particularly during the playoffs, started practice on Tuesday with his older brother set to join on Thursday.
Pau Gasol called Barcelona the best basketball team in Europe, explaining his decision on his Twitter page Tuesday.
For me @FCBarcelona is the best team in Europe. @MarcGasol and I are here to contribute even more to a group which is already excellent, he wrote.
Marc Gasol also shared the same sentiment with on his own Twitter earlier Tuesday morning.
I start training today with Regal Barça!! So proud of being back home and train along with the best European team!! #FCBarcelona, he wrote.
Of the two brothers, it seems the younger Marc is on the rise, while Pau is on the decline. Fans have criticized Pau's lackluster play during last year's playoffs, while praising Marc. For Pau though, he believes he still has nothing more to show.
I do not think there's anything to prove on my side, Gasol said via email to the Los Angeles Times when asked if he was eager to put the Lakers' postseason behind him. Last season we didn't perform during the playoffs as we were supposed to. . . . You cannot win every year; there are a lot of very good teams in the league.
Yet, Pau leaving to play in Spain would still be a blow to the Lakers if he doesn't return. He has been an integral part to the success of the Lakers' triangle offense. Likewise, Marc is the foundation to the Grizzlies' inside game.
NBA lockout negotiations continue Tuesday and owners and players say they will get a better idea of where the season stands once it ends. Let's see how it will all unfold.