Always one to thoughtfully answer any question, Pau Gasol has been asked some tough ones this season and responded with grace. Whether he was questioned about team’s struggles or his own personal injury battles, the Spanish giant has stood tall and answered with thoughtful intelligence.
With the Lakers’ latest downturn, the veteran center has been bombarded with questions about the season being over, how to go forward with seemingly no chance at the post season and subjects usually not welcomed by players in the middle of a failing season.
Without missing a beat, the thoughtful 7-footer has continued to answered questions of doubt with transparent honesty and restrained respect.
After Tuesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers had lost 17 of the last 20 games, and Gasol was asked a tough question about where the team sat in the standing: in a virtual tie for last place.
“I don’t really like to think about our record too much,” Gasol responded. “Kind of rather stay positive and work every single day to make it better and help the team win.”
On Thursday, Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar returned to Lakers' practice, and positive energy was everywhere. Gasol, who was unable to take part in practice due to a sore groin, was asked if the injured players returning providing some optimism or if the team was already too far gone for the returns to mean anything.
“I think we got to be optimistic,” Gasol put on a straight face. “No matter what happens from here until the end of the season, if we play well, we get some good wins and we get into winning streaks, whether at the end, we make it or not. If we make it, great. If we don’t, then, at least the games that we have played from this point on have been better, and we got more wins, and it’s been a more positive result and environment.”
Without Kobe Bryant around, the toughest questions have all fallen to Gasol this season, and he has responded with good answers each and every time. On Tuesday, the Spaniard offered further perspective on the mentality of the team and why this team would not be quitting any time soon.
“Most of the guys here on the team—including myself—we are in our last year of our contract,” Gasol said plainly. “So, we got to play at our best in spite of everything. And we got to bring it together. It’s fun when you play well and you win, even under tough circumstances. It feels better.”