Pau Gasol opens up on playing for Tom Thibodeau, Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs big man, who is almost certainly headed to the Hall of Fame when his career ends, is one of only two active NBA players to have played for two of the most unique characters in basketball today: Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Gasol and Philadelphia 76ers guard Marco Belinelli — who were Chicago Bulls teammates in 2014-15 — are the only active players left standing from a club that counts just five others as members: Nazr Mohammed, Kurt Thomas, Keith Bogans,cheap nfl authentic jerseys Malcolm Thomas and Rasual Butler.85

“How about that?” Gasol said with a smile when told of the group. “Fascinating list.”

So what’s it like playing for two of the most interesting men in basketball? Gasol, an interesting personality in his own right, shed some light on the experience as the Spurs get set to face off against the Timberwolves for the third and final time this season, with both teams needing a win in the ever-tightening Western Conference playoff race.

“They bring a certain passion to the game,” Gasol told ESPN. “Maybe in different ways, but you see that emotion from both coaches. They both care truly and are devoted to the game.”

The preparation both coaches put into their respective systems is also something that sets them apart, according to the 37-year-old Gasol. It’s a major reason why, during his chances at free agency after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, Gasol signed first with Thibodeau’s Bulls,cheap nfl jerseys from china then with Popovich’s Spurs.

“The conversations that I had with Thibs were positive. It seemed like we were going to be on the same page,” he said. “And when I decided to come to San Antonio, same deal. I knew Pop was an excellent coach, a guy that is at the top of the top, considered, I think, for most of us, the best coach that is out there today.”