Marc Gasol admits he wants to beat his brother Pau in Sunday’s NBA All Star Game because losing always hurts.

The Spanish duo will become the first siblings to start on opposite sides in the showpiece when the 2015 takes place in New York City (BT Sport 1, 1am) with Pau’s rejuvenation with the Chicago Bulls one of this season’s most pleasant surprises.

With Marc a stalwart of the Memphis Grizzlies, it will be an occasion to remember for their extended family, both claim, but the latter claims facing off against one another remains a unique experience.

“I think our relationship off the court has always been strong,” he told MVP. “First, it was more of a big brother/little brother kind of relationship, of course, and once the age …not that it didn’t but once I got more mature and become older, our relationship got really closer and closer, and on the court we both understand how much each other cares for the game, we both understand how much the game means to the other, because we see how much each other works.

“So, when we play each other, we barely acknowledge each other; we don’t make eye contact. We know each other’s moves pretty much, and tendencies, so it’s hard to come out with something new to surprise the other guy in front of you. We know after the game we’re not going to talk very much about what happened, because we know that one of us is not going to be too happy, he’s not going to be happy about losing, and so we respect that, too. That’s how we are.”

Pau, now 34, will make his fifth All Star appearance and a first time for the East, with his brother’s Western squad tabbed as favourites amid multiple drop-outs on both rosters.

This will be something new. But special.

“When we were younger there was always that age difference, almost four-and-a-half years apart, but I think as we both grew older and more mature, our relationship got tighter and closer,” he said. “We compete on the floor, we love to compete, we have a great competitive nature, but that never affects our personal relationship and our relationship as brothers.”

Some doubted the elder Gasol would be back on this kind of stage, joining the A-List (fit or not) at Madison Square Garden. Instead he has reminded us what we may have forgotten during his last two years with the Lakers – that he is among the greatest players Europe has ever produced.

“I’m definitely rejuvenated, I’m definitely re-energised,” Pau said.

“I don’t think I’m reborn. I think at the high level, I just had a couple of rough years in L.A., with a lot to deal with and a lot going on, so a lot of factors play in the way that I’m playing now and the way I’m contributing, and performing, but it (fit) well – and we have a good system, it’s a system that allows me and puts me in positions where I can be more effective and I can play more comfortably, and so I’m happy with the way things are here.

“This is a decision that I made in the summer, which was a hard decision, but I felt like this was going to be the best place for me to play at my highest level and also have an option and an opportunity to pursue another championship. So, I think a lot of factors have come into play. I worked hard during the summer and I’m healthy and I can do what I like to do on the floor. So, it’s a great situation and a good moment for me to live.”

Meanwhile Mike Budenholzer will complete his amazing journey from Scottish League star to All Star when he coaches the East.

The one-time Pentland Tigers guard has been rewarded for leading the Atlanta Hawks to the NBA’s best record and earning plaudits from around the league.

“We have a great group of guys. We have very good players,” Budenholzer said. “They’re very unselfish, they’re smart, they have high character and really fit well together.

“It’s the players and the way they’re made up. There’s been small, incremental improvements on an individual basis and on a team basis and it all starts with the players. They really believe in each other and what they’re trying to do.”

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