Pau Gasol has made it clear that a return to the Los Angeles Lakers is something he would welcome, with the bonus being that he’d be allowed to play alongside his brother, Marc, in the purple and gold and pursue a title.
Marc Gasol responded to the recent comments made by his brother about a possible reunion with LA during an interview with reporters on Thursday.
“First and foremost, Pau has to be healthy and has to continue to stay healthy throughout the process of rehabbing. Building that endurance and continued impact on his foot, on his bone is going to be crucial. The only way to know about it is through playing, so I think he has to find a way to play a little bit, to see how his body reacts to that,” Marc said, referencing the foot issues that ended Gasol’s last two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively.
“I think that should be the main focus right now instead of where he’s going to play. More important is his health and how he feels, and how his body reacts to the workload.”
Marc Gasol on Pau Gasol wanting to play alongside him on the Lakers: pic.twitter.com/YtaDaa7yKn
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 10, 2020
Pau Gasol Rebounding From Foot Injury
While Pau has cemented his spot as an All-Time Laker with a pair of titles, he’s 40 now and didn’t play a single game last season. He played in the 2018-2019 season but only averaged 3.9 points a game.
Pau Gasol has undergone two surgeries during his time away to repair stress fractures in the navicular bone in his left foot, a tough injury for a big man.
Pau Gasol, who's turning 40 years old in a few months admits he's thinking about retiring from basketball.
“With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement."
— SBOBET (@SBOBET) March 24, 2020
While the elder Gasol might not be the big contributor he was in his prime, he could be a valuable addition on the bench and in the locker room
“There is meaning and history there,” Gasol said of the Lakers, per Zach Lowe of ESPN. “I’m not going to lie. It would be very special, and now that my brother [Marc] is there, even more special. But I’m not in a position now to be very demanding. I don’t have 10 offers on the table.”
Marc Gasol: My Role Will be Fluid With Lakers
Gasol has slowed at 35, but has proven he can still be a key contributor. He was a starter on the Raptors team that won it all in 2019 and has career averages of 14.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
Last season he played 26.4 minutes per game with the Raptors, scoring 7.5 points per game and grabbing 6.2 rebounds. What will help the 6-11 Gasol stay on the court as the league shifts to smaller lineups — as we saw during last year’s playoff run — is that he can defend well and shoot the 3-ball. He averaged close to four 3-point attempts per game last season, shooting 38.5 percent from range.
Marc Gasol, on what he thinks his role will be for this team. pic.twitter.com/QwmASwwQhr
— NBA INSIDER HARRISON FAIGEN (@hmfaigen) December 10, 2020
“As far as my role, I think it’s going to be fluid, it’s going to depend on how things evolve as a team and what’s needed,” Marc Gasol told reporters. “I’m very open to whatever coach and the team needs from me. I’m always going to try to do the task in front of me as best as possible, and I’m going to put everything I have into it. That’s the guarantee I can give you.”
Gasol said he’s unsure if he will suit up for the Lakers preseason opener on Friday, but he’ll be ready to go if his number is called.