After more trade rumors surfaced yesterday surrounding Pau Gasol, and with the March 15 trade deadline less than a month away, it seems that the consistent rumors are beginning to take their toll on Gasol. At least mentally.
Following Lakers’ practice on Thursday, Gasol spoke candidly about the rumors and how they have impacted his mindset and preparation this season. In an interview with ESPN Los Angeles, Gasol acknowledges that he’s been following the reports.
“There’s talks and rumors every day. Today I was reading it was Minnesota is really interested in trying to put a good package together,” he said. “[Other teams are] calling, and it seems like things are just waiting for the right offer to come along, for [the Lakers] to pull the trigger.”
From that quote it sounds like Gasol is a player that has accepted his fate. It seems as if he’s simply waiting for a trade to be finalized. While in the past he has expressed his desire to remain with the Lakers and in Los Angeles, the increasing amount of rumors seems to have changed his mindset, at least a little bit.
Still, it’s not like Gasol is having a bad season. Despite not making the All-Star team, Gasol is averaging 16.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. His point and rebound totals are both second on the team, behind Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum respectively.
However, Gasol did end the interview restating his desire to remain a member of the Lakers.
“It’s out of my hands. It is what it is. I’d like to be here,” Gasol said. “I’d like to make this team better and get back to a championship level, but it’s not up to me.”*
While the 7-foot Spaniard admitted that completely ignoring all the rumors is nearly impossible, he did say that coach Mike Brown has helped him find ways to play through the rumors and focus on the task at hand – winning.