Imagine a world where Pau Gasol re-joined the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think that would be dope,” Earl Watson, a Memphis Grizzlies teammate of Gasol, told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“But, I don’t think Pau wants to deal with practice every day; like the body has this thing like, ‘Nah bro, I’m tapping out!’ So Pau could do it to play with Marc. It’s interesting. Now Marc is back with the team that he was originally with and they were traded for each other and I think that would be hilarious and Marc was a kid back in those days just playing high school basketball coming to the games and there’s no way I thought that he would be the player he is today but, those genes man! You can’t deny the DNA.”
Paul Gasol, 40, was the Grizzlies’ third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. He was later traded to the Lakers where he teammed up with Kobe Bryant and played under head coach, Phil Jackson and won two NBA Championships.
Gasol has career averages of 17 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest.
He’s last played on an NBA court in March of 2019.
What if he were to come back and join the Lakers?
“There is meaning and history there,” Gasol recently told 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.”
“I want the opportunity to contribute — to feel needed,” Gasol said. “Not just to be there. That’s not who I am. I want to enjoy it, and players usually enjoy playing.”
Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast back in the spring, I asked Lakers assistant coach, Phil Handy how a young Pau Gasol would fit in today’s NBA game.
“Phenomenal,” Handy told me.
“He would fit right in. A young Pau Gasol? He was ahead of his time. I think where the evolution of the game is going to now, he was one of those bigs that came into the League as a young player that had the ability to play inside and outside. And man, he’s smart. He’s a playmaking big. He knows how to pass, he can dribble a little bit, he can post up, he can shoot it…he did so many different things. I don’t people really appreciated his skill set when he was at the prime of his game. Because most of those years were in Vancouver/Memphis, and when he came to Los Angeles in that big trade I think people started to understand what kind of player he was. But I still think that he wasn’t able fully showcase those abilities because he was with Kobe. And playing with Kobe, that’s one of those things where everybody sacrifices a piece of their game because he was so dominant and so great. But Pau would DEFINITELY survive and thrive in the game today. A young Pau Gasol would be elite.”