This is somewhat of an interesting answer. Most would logically think that Yao Ming was the best player Shane Battier played with in his career (assuming Tracy McGrady was too fragile to consider by the time Battier joined the Rockets), but lets not forget that Battier also played with Pau Gasol in his first five seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Grizzlies were swept out of the first round every time they made the playoffs (three times to be exact) during their time together as teammates. It could also be that by the time Battier joined the Rockets, Yao was playing the best basketball of his career, topping out at 25 points and 9.4 rebounds in the 2006-2007 season.
If you compare the careers of the two players, though, the numbers are awfully close – both hovered around 19 points on 52 percent shooting, nine rebounds and close to two blocks. Yao may have had the edge in scoring, but he was never the type of facilitator that Gasol was, nor did he have the same level of mobility on the defensive end. Yao certainly had more presence and star power than Gasol, but was he the clear-cut better player? Probably so in his healthy state, but it’s still debatable, given where both players’ careers have ended up.
Here is a comparison of how they fared against each other in 23 career games.