Pau Gasol was traded to the Lakers back in February of 2008, and he has helped them win 2 titles, and go to 3 straight Finals. He was the perfect compliment to Kobe Bryant, and all was well for Gasol and the Lakers.
Back in 2011, the Lakers completed a trade for Chris Paul, and it sent Pau Gasol to the Rockets. David Stern vetoed the trade, and Gasol would return to Los Angeles. The next off-season would bring in Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol was going to be the glue guy who rounded out a great lineup filled with talent. Things went horribly last season, and Gasol has been involved in trade rumors for a while now.
He has experienced injuries, and career-low numbers, but his talent and skills are always useful for the Lakers. In his new book Pau Gasol: Life-Vida, Gasol talked about the last 2 seasons in LA. “The last two seasons have been challenging and difficult. The constant trade rumors, injuries, and coaching changes–from Phil Jackson to Mike Brown, from Mike to Bernie Bickerstaff, and from Bernie to Mike D’Antoni–have been a lot to take in,” Gasol writes in his memoir.
Gasol also touched on his relationship with Mike D’Antoni last season, saying, ” What’s an injury? What’s a trade rumor or a potential change of teams? What’s it like to play for a coach who doesn’t believe in me or my abilities 100 percent?” Clearly, he was referencing D’Antoni in that last part. Mike has come out and said he only went away from Pau to appease Dwight Howard, and that he now has full confidence in Pau.
Gasol is in the last year of his deal, and if he wants to stay a Laker, he will have to take a pay cut. One day his jersey will be hanging in the rafters of Staples Center, and Gasol will be elected into the Hall of Fame.
I suggest reading his book, as it takes an in depth look at one of the most diverse and caring players in the NBA. All proceeds for his book go to the Gasol Brothers Foundation.