This Lakers Legend Trumped Kevin Durant in Rio Olympics 2016 Basketball Top Scorers List

Published 07/13/2021, 12:42 AM EDT
Spain’s Pau Gasol (4) walks off the court after a basketball game against Croatia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: OBKO130


The USA Men’s national basketball team was ultimately crowned champions at the Rio Olympics in 2016. LeBron James and Co. defeated Serbia in the final to bag the gold medal. Kevin Durant, who was part of the Golden State Warriors back then, was the standout performer for USA as they won their 15th title at the quadrennial event.

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Lakers Kobe Bryant consoles Pau Gasol late in the 4th quarter against the Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center Sunday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

But there was another hooper who had one hell of a tournament was Los Angeles Lakers great, Pau Gasol. Aside from Bojan Bogdanovic of Serbia, it was Gasol who dominated games while playing for Spain dropping buckets all throughout the group and knockout stages.

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Throwback to when Pau Gasol upstaged Kevin Durant at the Rio Olympics

Spain finished third at the Rio Olympics 2016 as they defeated Australia by a narrow 88-89 scoreline to secure the bronze medal. But it was Gasol who concluded the tournament with the maximum points scored (156). He was followed by USA’s Kevin Durant (155), Bojan Bogdanovic (152), and Australia’s Patty Mills (149).

Gasol is named in Spain’s provisional squad to travel to Tokyo for the upcoming Olympics. Here’s what the former Lakers man said about close friend and late teammate, Kobe Bryant.

(Orlando, Florida – Sunday, June 14, 2009) Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant share a warm embrace at center court as they realize victory is certain over the Magic in game five of the NBA Finals at Amway Arena. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“Once you slowly get over the void and the sadness and the pain you start looking at what he has left us. He was a guy who gave his best to whatever he did. He didn’t accept failure, he worked the hardest to be the best at what he did. You can see how now – after basketball, after his career – he was sharing all those values, all that knowledge to inspire the younger generations…If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability,” Gasol said last year.

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Ahead of Gasol’s return to the Olympics in Tokyo, here’s a look at his highlight reel from past editions of the quadrennial competition. Enjoy the ride down memory lane and cherish his brilliance!

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Daniel Arambur

1669 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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