NBA Top 10 International Scorers of All-Time: Pau Gasol Now First Place Among Hispanics in Points Scored in NBA History
Pau Gasol has made history yet again.
With 2:45 remaining in the first quarter of Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Gasol scored the 17,624th career point of his incredible career.
By scoring that slam dunk (watch below) Gasol passed Rolando Blackman to become the all-time scorer by a Hispanic player in NBA history. Blackman previously played for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks after playing basketball in Panama at a young age.
Gasol has long since been the all-time NBA leading scorer by a Spain-born player, having scored more than 17,000 career points. The second most career points by a Spain-born player in NBA history is held by Wally Szczerbiak, who has 9,195 points. Interestingly, Pau's brother, Marc Gasol, has the third most points ever by a Spain-born player with nearly 7,000 points.
Earlier this season, Dirk Nowitzki surpassed the great Hakeem Olajuwon for most career points among internationally born players. Even Tim Duncan recently passed Jamaican great Patrick Ewing. The NBA is without a doubt one of the most diverse sports leagues in the world today, featuring the very best players from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Gasol is just the latest example of international talents on display in the NBA.
This wasn't the only magical moment of Gasol's NBA Hall of Fame career. Twice he helped the Los Angeles Lakers win the exclusive NBA Championship, and he is a five-time NBA All-Star, including this season with the Chicago Bulls. In his first season in 2001, he was named "Rookie of the Year." It was a very historic moment considering Gasol became the first, and still-only, European-born player to win the award.
Outside regular season statistics and awards, Gasol has been clutch in the postseason as well. Gasol averages 17.2 points per playoff game along with 9.7 rebounds. Arguably the best moments of his career came in the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Lakers trailed 3-2 in a best of seven series, but Gasol wouldn't let a second consecutive ring get away. In Game 6, he scored 17 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed 13 rebounds. He fell just one assist short of a triple-double. In the decisive Game 7, Gasol scored 19 points and grabbed an incredible 18 rebounds in the Lakers 83-79 victory.
Gasol has not just shown off his talents in the NBA, but he has represented his skills on the global stage as well. In each of the last two Summer Olympics (with his brother), he has led the Spanish National to a silver medal. In the 2006 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Gasol led Spain to a gold medal victory, the only such instance in their country's history.
Top 10 International scorers in NBA history
1. Dirk Nowitzki: 27,832 (Germany)
2. Hakeem Olajuwon: 26,946 (Nigeria)
3. Tim Duncan: 25,708 (Virgin Islands)
4. Patrick Ewing: 24,815 (Jamaica)
5. Pau Gasol: 17,653 (Spain)
6. Rolando Blackman: 17,623 (Panama)
7. Steve Nash: 17,387 (South Africa)
8. Tony Parker: 16,714 (Belgium)
9. Kiki Vandeweghe: 15,980 (Germany)
10. Detlef Schrempf: 15,761 (Germany)
*Points updated as of March 7, 2015