Pau Gasol is a widely recognized veteran in the NBA and his back-to-back silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics make him a seasoned Olympian as well. Despite all of his success, he is unsure about competing in 2016, which would be his third straight Summer Olympics. Gasol told Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News that the issue is not whether he wants to play but if he’ll be able to:
“That’s the main thing. Can I stay healthy and can I play and continue to excel?”
By the time he reaches the 2016 games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, Gasol will be 36 and knows that it will be difficult to perform at the same level that he is now, telling Medina:
“Everything takes its toll. You continue to add miles and then there’s a point where that’s as far as you get.”
Gasol hasn’t confirmed or denied it yet, however he has confirmed that he will play in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain. Gasol and the Spanish National team have an impressive record including three gold medals coming from the 2006 FIBA World Peace Championship, the 2009 and the 2011 FIBA European Championship and three silver medals, two coming from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics and the third in the 2007 FIBA European Championships.
Pau and his brother Marc Gasol are a force to be reckoned with in the paint and they are joined by guards Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon. However, the 2016 Summer Olympics might be the last run for this group. By 2020 the core group will be past their prime, which may be a driving factor that could possibly sway Gasol to compete one last time.
Kobe Bryant has already confirmed that he will not play in the 2016 Summer Olympics but plans to travel to Rio De Janiero to watch his fellow Laker win another silver medal.
VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Says He’ll Watch Pau Gasol Win Silver