Gasol’s Summer Keeps Getting Better

LONDON – If the good times keep on rolling like this, Pau Gasol isn’t going to want to see this summer end.

On the same day Gasol led Spain from 13 points down to a win over Russia in the first of two semifinals here at the Olympics, he found out that the Lakers put the finishing touches on a blockbuster deal that will pair he and All-Star center Dwight Howard in a revamped frontcourt that will be the envy of the NBA. Add all that to the Steve Nash sign-and-trade deal from last month and the realization that Gasol’s name will no longer come up in trade rumors (it ended up being Andrew Bynum) and things couldn’t get much better.

Well, there is always that game Sunday and a potential matchup against his good friend and teammate Kobe Bryant and the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team, and those other two high-profile teammates back in the States watching all of the action unfold.

It’s a decent rebound summer for a guy whose name had come up in so many trade rumors over the past two years that it made it hard not to internalize all of the chatter. Instead of heading elsewhere, Gasol will be a central figure on a Lakers team that vaults into the mix with Miami and Oklahoma City as favorites to win the 2012-13 NBA title.

Most importantly, Gasol will stay put in Los Angeles for at least the foreseeable future.

“That’s big news, big news.” Gasol said after Spain’s 67-59 win over Russia. “That’s huge. I’ve been involved in so many talks and so many rumors, we all know that. After a while I’ve been able to block it out. So I feel relieved. And I’m anxious and excited with our team, fully committed and fully focused on working extremely hard and just our team as much as I can.”

Gasol said he talked to Bryant Thursday night after all of the rumors about the deal started circulating. Initially, Gasol wasn’t sure of the particulars and whether or not he was going to be included in the deal as well.

“Kobe knew more than I did,” Gasol said. “I think we’re both happy with what’s gone on and where we are now.”

The timing, of course, couldn’t have been worse. With Spanish dignitaries sitting courtside for the game against Russia, Gasol admitted that his mind was all over the place with so much going on with his national team and his NBA team at the same time.

“Listen, first of all I want to wish Andrew the best in his new team and new stage,” Gasol said. “And I’m obviously very excited about our team. But it was hard to block it out completely, because I like to be concentrated and focused on what I’m doing with my national team. This happened and it’s something that puts us in a position to be an extremely powerful team. A team with all the chances to go for the ring again.”

32 Comments

  1. 4Lakers says:

    i dont understand why people are so hard on this guy especially Lakers Fan…do you guys understand that without Gasol we wouldn’t have even gotten close to winning the back2back championships…this dude basically changed the entire Lakers land the moment he came to LA

    Gasol has had ups and downs and alot of downs lately and as far as i checked this dude is Human like the rest of us and is allowed to make mistakes in his life to figure things out! as a Laker Fan i understand Gasol needed to put all the BS aside but damn after all of it he just needed a break and wasn’t himself i hope he does get back into that Gasol we know and love when he helped us win those back2backs

    Gasol is greatly unappreciated and this is just sad dude is a monster baller and just wears his emotions on his sleeves and cant handle everything at once hopefully he can because even with Nash and Howard Gasol truly is the difference maker at the end of it all and not to take anything away from KB24 i dont even need to defend this guy once of the all-time greats.

    either way Laker Fans show more love for Gasol bet he will definitely play different.

  2. laker 4 life says:

    @The B-ball king do u really think Dwight will sign with the bobcats? They only won 7 games last yr. He will look for bigger teams if he doesnt resign. But howard will already have a ring by then so he will resign!!

  3. Fran (from Spain) says:

    Hi all. I am Spanish and I am proud of the match we did today against the U.S..
    The result: 107-100
    It was amazing all the excitement and tension that have ended in a grand finale and a great Kevin Durant.
    Happy, happy that Pau Gasol in LA Lakers continue with his friend and brother, Kobe Bryant.
    I hope that values ​​the great selection we have and hope that LA Lakers win the ring, “Nash, Gasol, MWP, Howard, Bryant.”
    That great team!

  4. ko0kie says:

    all those talks that andrew bynum might have more upside in the future than howard.. it found it ridiculous then but you clearly see howards value now after they traded him.. everybody (especially the players) seems superexcited..

  5. TheB-ballKing says:

    Forget this!! Everybody knows that Dwight’s gonna sign to the best team in the world, charlotte bobcats next season..instant championship bcuz they atleast gonna make it to the conference this year

    PG-Kemba walker, all star this year
    SG-Gerald henderson,all star this year
    SF-Michael Kidd Gilchrist,rookie of year and all star this year
    PF-Bismack biyombo,defensive player of year this year
    C-Dwight howard,MVP next year with bobcats
    reserves-jamario moon,matt carrol,eduardo najera, probably desagana diop

  6. vamos a la playa says:

    goood point, bob: gasol is not the right man in this system.

  7. lets go says:

    the only problem will he sign with the lakers

  8. Bob says:

    The problem with Gasol was that he wasn’t in the post last year, he was at the elbow and that took away his superior post moves and play making. Now, you are trading Bynum for Howard. He is back at the elbow with a D12 in the box all the time. That is why Lamar Odom made that team so dominant in the championship era, he was a big and versatile 7 footer that let Pau do his thing.
    Hey, I’m not hating, I just know a little bit about basketball. What I believe is that the Lakers would be better with a Lamar Odom or Chris Bosh type at the 4. And……… I think Kupchak realizes this fact, too. Unless, you want to get a Kenyon Martin and run Pau as a second unit post. I think that would not fly well.

  9. kutz says:

    lakers lineup is strong already with the addition of nash.. releasing bynum and replacing him with DI2 makes lakers a very
    formidable team. lakers haters are the only nba followers wouldnt admit that facts.. lets go lakers!!!

  10. Timothy Bladel says:

    Im just wondering why half of the people on this site cannot talk right. Or they are so lazy that they do not want to waste time trying to show people they are not dumb. Plus, the lakers are instantly the best team, period. If this team meshes, then we are talking 72 likew the Bulls did with their big three.

  11. johnvazquez says:

    Just a simple clarification, Sekou. King Juan Carlos I was not among the Spanish dignitaries present at the arena for the game (I believe he was in Spain). However, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were there, along with Queen Sofía were in the stands. NBC cameras also caught Spanish Basketball Federation President José Luis Sáez congratulating several Spanish players, including Pau Gasol, at the conclusion of the game. Keep up the great work with your blog!

  12. Lakers-R-Us says:

    I’m ecstatic about Dwight Howard joining the Lakers! Completely ecstatic! This is a great day in Lakerland! They have a franchise player they can build around now after Kobe is gone!

  13. Tobz says:

    I am very amazed that Pau wasn’t traded, very happy and relieved as well. It definitely wouldn’t be as strong a team if they lost Pau. Anyway, I am very eager to see how this new season unfolds. It has been the most amazing offseason for years! Will be a superb season to observe.

  14. D_Rose1 says:

    Lakers are formidable. Who ever imagined D12 will end up with the Lakers? They are already strong with Bynum. Now they’re the beast of the West…If they mix well with Nash and D12, this could be the first ring for both of them. I’m an OKC fan. Next season is very exciting to watch….

  15. Nesmcswagger says:

    Strongest starting 5!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait, I gonna be a Grandslam for the Lakers! Lake Show every night! HELLO LA HATERS! :D

  16. Enrix says:

    Nash, Bryant, meta, gasol, and Howard, this LA team is similar to BULLS of the 90′s. But the only difference is that BULLS’ team has PHIL Jackson at the courtside who can motivate those bunch of big egos. So, who’s going to handle the antics of meta, child minded Howard, and gasol. They need a ZEN master to do that…..

  17. 360fadewaydunk says:

    im happy for gasol to stay with the lakers. he’s a very versatile player. steve nash will make him more effective.

  18. azevedo says:

    With Gasol still in the mixed and the addition of Nash and Haword complimenting Kobe we are going for 75-82 win. can’t wait to see Lakers vs Miami

  19. saintski says:

    good any other team winning then miami is a big plus for everyone.

  20. alberto says:

    nice report, but a mistake:our king Juan Carlos I wasnt in the court,was our prince Felipe.

  21. Jim says:

    Go Lakers.. hope with the addition of nash and howard they will all gel as a team.. and im happy for Pau.. he love’s lakers so much..

  22. spurs fan says:

    great for the lakers fan…im a steve nash fan hope he get his 1st nba championship ring..if this deal finalize i will bet that only lakers can match the big 3 of miami specialy they can stop lebron to penetrate..omg the lakers is in western goodluck to my spurs :)

    • peopleplease says:

      are you series? what team has ever went or won the NBA Finals without a good coach? This fool should have studied the 3 triangle with Phil Jackson and the players…. they had something no other team had… and thats just it HAD… now the lakers are a great team without a coach like the knicks the second half the year… or bulls without Phil… or the suns without theirs… plus expect this team to have to be together for 1 whole year and suffer a loss to become meshed like any other team ever created… miami oklahoma boston… give this laker team 1 year and possibly a new coach??? not soon la

  23. gus ole says:

    Be sure you show up this season

  24. gsa ol says:

    be sure you show up BIG this season

  25. Guy says:

    So now we have dwightinha added to what is already a drama filled team, and the los angeles soap opera continues. will they be able to mesh and bring another ring to la? thoughts??

    • peopleplease says:

      the only ring coming to la is either clippers or ring of thugs stealing your tv as youll think what your watching is fake and your tv is being watched its gonna seem so much like tv show…. or 3 stooges.. hey maybe obama can come coach this team and we will make it a show… presidential drama…. and michelle will make brownies… andat theend of their season… arnold schwarzenegger will come to a mic and say ‘well be back, asta la vista… baby’….

      • kILLarifIC says:

        that doesnt make any sense… i wouldnt be suprised if gasol somehow ended up their leading scorer. the nash/howard pick and roll is gonna force teams to help and gasol is gonna get ALOT of OPEN looks. i hope kobe doesnt get soft taking open 3′s all season.. Not a lakers fan bad damnn, nba in trouble

  26. noyb says:

    “Mend fences”?! Who the heck wrote the tag line for this piece?!! Gasol was the perfect gentleman throughout the entire episose, going all the way back to people saying he is soft. Somebody at NBA.com needs to get their cranium out of their posterior…

  27. MrOdelay says:

    Sorry man, but the King of Spain wasn’t there. Only the Queen and the Prince.

  28. joshua gets buckets says:

    LAL gonna win FTW