Team 2010-11: Los Angeles Lakers (USA-NBA)
Career: Barcelona (Spain-ACB, 1997-2001), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA, 2001-08), Los Angeles Lakers (2008-11)
Pau Gasol is the biggest ever basketball legend in Spain. In the last ten years, he has led the National Team to a FIBA World Championship title (2006), a silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games and four medals in EuroBasket competitions (2001, 2003, 2007 and 2009), including the golden one of 2009. Of course he has also had plenty of success as club level, winning two NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. In fact, the only two times Pau did not spend the summer with Spain were the only two times Spain did not capture any medals (2005 and 2010). You can certainly call that being influential! In the NBA, Pau has gained a tremendous amount of respect but the true nature of his game makes him an even better player in the international context, where his combination of size, skill, smarts and determination turns him into the ultimate weapon. When he struggled a bit during the first week of EuroBasket 2009, Spain did too; and when he shifted back to his domination mode, Spain was untouchable. After the disappointment of the NBA play-offs this year, Pau is hungry for revenge. That spells trouble for everyone not in a Spain vest.