Thanks to a recent survey, Pau Gasol knows that roughly 63% of NBA General Managers think the Lakers will complete their three-peat this season. Of course that won’t be decided until late June. Right now, in October, Pau must have known there was a 100% chance he’d be playing ambassador to his native Barcelona for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol is a legit NBA superstar and nowhere does his star shine brighter than in Spain.
Aside from the added pressure of playing against his former Spanish club, having to entertain the droves of fans that are there to cheer on their Native Son and taking time to kiss a few thousand babies. Pau also had the responsibility, better yet duty, to show his Laker teammates a good time in Barca.
If five players missing the team bus this morning is any indication, Gasol performed his services beautifully.
Phil Jackson wasn’t too concerned and even cut Gasol some slack knowing he’s under a lot of pressure during what is supposed t be an otherwise relaxing time for the team. PJ gave Pau a pass for his late night romp.
“I had five guys miss the team bus this morning. I blame Pau [Gasol] for that, but we won’t hold it against him. He took them out last night and showed them some of the sights of Barcelona. We got a little bit behind the 8 ball on this trip.”
As happy as Gasol is to return to Spain as a two-time NBA champion, he’ll be equally relieved once he is able to put the whole trip behind him.
“It’s always special. But at the same time, it wears you out a little bit. The hardest part will be until the point of the game. That will be the toughest part because we will have a pretty busy schedule.”
Party on, Pau!
Hopefully Gasol will be able to relax and enjoy the moment when he’s given a rousing ovation just prior to the tip-off. After that, it’s business as usual. Pau can’t get too caught up in the moment. After all, he’s got a more important task to complete than being tour guide. Pau’s got to make a liar out of Juan Carlos Navarro who told Gasol the Lakers were going down to FC Barcelona on Thursday.