For those who were wondering about the zoo-like setting at Lakers’ media day …
Was this merely setting the stage for an "insane season"?
Pau Gasol, probably the most-sensible, well-grounded star, might have been the best Lakers player to answer the question.
“Well, we’ll see,” Gasol said on Monday. “We can make it insane and it can be insane in different ways. We just have to keep it to the direction we want it to be.”
Having a semblance of control would be a nice change for Gasol after a chaotic and wildly uncertain year. This had more of a first-day-of-school-type feel for Gasol, not the rumble-of-moving-vans vibe.
There was a lockout last year, the trade and then rejected trade to New Orleans. This was followed by an endless stream of trade rumors, trailing him to the Olympics in London.
Here’s how happy he was to be in L.A. Gasol had been tweeting about looking forward to media day, and actually thanked reporters for showing up in a tweet later on Monday afternoon.
“It feels really good to be in the situation and not have to deal with and go through with what we dealt with last season,” he said.
“Last year is behind us. We learned. We grew and now we move on and we’re here. It makes it a lot easier. Once you have less distractions to worry about, you can do your job better.”
And so, Gasol was back to answering questions about his team, rather than where he might be headed. One of the lines of questioning was about Dwight Howard’s timetable and the possibility of Gasol starting the season at center, if Howard is still out.
“We’ll adjust,” Gasol said. “I think we have enough weapons. We obviously want Dwight to be healthy. We don’t want him to rush. Obviously, we need him for the entire season, not for the first few games.
“He wants to be back, be ready from Day 1 and so we’ll see. He has to test his back.”
Gasol, talking about the overall approach, sounded almost like a TV network executive announcing the fall lineup, saying: “New season. New adventure. New journey.”