(Photo: Kim Kelment/USA Today Sports)
Many fans might not be aware that Pau Gasol is not only an elite veteran NBA center, but a blogger as well. He’s been periodically sharing his thoughts about the Lakers season and other items involving his life on his personal blog account, paugasol.com. A couple of days ago he posted a new entry on his blog which provided some very interesting insight on his thought process heading into free agency, his disappointment with the season that was just wrapped up and opposing views regarding Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni.
On Pau staying for Kobe Bryant:
“Re-signing for the Lakers is a possibility, but I’m not sure whether to say it’s a remote one. If there’s anything or anyone who could make me stay it’s Kobe Bryant. I’d stay for him, but there’d have to be significant changes.”
Kobe Bryant will certainly want Pau back, but as Pau stated in his entry that alone will not influence his decision.
Pau on the important factors in him signing with a team:
“I’ve said it many times: I want to be in a team that has a solid chance to win another tournament and where I can be an important factor in the game. Money is not important. Money isn’t important to me. I have other priorities. A contract lasting several seasons, the make-up of the team that signs me: I’ll need to think long and hard. I won’t just go to the franchise that offers me the biggest salary, I know that.”
If Pau’s main factors are a long term contract and playing for a team that has a legitimate chance to compete for a championship I would find it hard to imagine that the Lakers have any shot of re-signing him for next season.
Lakers will be protecting their salary cap space for the next few seasons as they wait for a transcendent superstar to become available and will likely not offer any players that don’t fit that description more than a 1 or 2 year deal. On the positive note, since the amount of the contract is not important it is reasonable to think that the Lakers could offer him a small yearly contract amount and space it out long term. Still, the possibility of the Lakers contending for a championship contention in these next few years is very difficult to fathom.
Pau on if Mike D’Antoni coaching next year will influence his decision to return:
“I’ve never concealed the fact that D’Antoni’s style doesn’t suit my game. Everybody knows this. I don’t know if my decision will be swayed by whether Mike stays or leaves. Obviously, the coach is a very important factor for any team.”
This is where it is difficult to decipher what it is that Pau is trying to say about how Mike D’Antoni returning would factor into his decision to return to the Lakers. Obviously, it is a factor as he prefaced his comment about his decision to return with him acknowledging his aversion with playing in D’Antoni system. The way that I infer his statement is that it would be unlikely that he would opt to return to the Lakers if D’Antoni is brought back as coach next season, but not entirely out of the question, leaving the door open just a smidge.
Pau provides more thoughts no the season that was just completed, his bout with vertigo and more. You can read the entire blog entry here.
– Fern Rea
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