July 28, 2012 |
On the best days, here's how Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol interact. They high-five each other. They rub each other's heads. They express appreciation for their complementary styles. On the worst days, here's how Bryant and Gasol interact. Bryant questions Gasol's aggressiveness. Gasol laments Bryant's high-volume shooting coming at the expense of crisp ball movement. In their Game 5 loss to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals, they even argued. But never had the two interacted this way. Bryant and Gasol posed in a photo Friday night moments before the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics wearing their unique garb.
August 9, 2012 |
After going through a Lakers' season where he appeared lost in the high-post, Pau Gasol has found himself in the 2012 London Olympics dominating in the low block. After seeing his standing fall below Andrew Bynum in the Lakers' pecking order, Gasol has led Spain in what could result in a gold-medal game against Team USA for the second time in four years. After wondering all year whether the Lakers truly valued his presence, Spain has shown that it needs Gasol. The difference has proven so drastic that Gasol may finish these Games matching Brazil's Oscar Schmidt as the only other player to lead the field in scoring in three consecutive Olympic appearances.
May 18, 2012 |
Growing up, Pau Gasol came to a crossroads at which he had to decide whether to pursue a medical career or play professional basketball. He soon chose the latter, but the Lakers forward has still tapped into his interest in medicine. His involvement has become so wide-ranging that Gasol won this year's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Gasol won for his efforts supporting the medical field. Last year, Lakers forward Metta World Peace (then Ron Artest) won for his extensive involvement with supporting mental health charities.
June 28, 2012 |
The NBA draft begins Thursday evening, so of course that means Pau Gasol's standing with the Lakers remains in limbo. Gasol has felt resigned with uncertainty ever since the nixed Chris Paul trade. Considering that the Lakers fell in the Western Conference semifinals for the second consecutive season, it's likely that feeling could last all next season - unless the Lakers trade Gasol, of course. The latest scenario, as reported by The Times' Mike Bresnahan , involved the Atlanta Hawks trying to trade power forward Josh Smith for Gasol.
June 4, 2012 |
His frustration may still linger over the Lakers' second-round playoff loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Pau Gasol's future with the team will remain dicey throughout the off-season. The only certainty for Gasol: he's spending Monday evening watching Game 3 of the Kings' Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center and then leaving for his native Spain on Tuesday to begin preparing for the 2012 Olympics. As far as everything else, who knows? But as Gasol stood Monday at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, he heeded another reminder that some of those concerns pale to other matters.
June 26, 2012 |
It may be hard to remember now, but at one point the Lakers viewed Pau Gasol as a savior. Once the Lakers acquired him in a trade in February 2008 from the Memphis Grizzlies, all sorts of reactions unfolded. The move immediately softened Kobe Bryant's frustration about the team lacking a championship roster. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson admitted skepticism that the Lakers could acquire Gasol for Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton, two first-round picks and the rights to Pau's brother Marc, whom the Lakers drafted with a second-round pick in 2007.
April 29, 2012 |
For the last five minutes, Andrew Bynum ended Saturday's practice in the same fashion that earned him a benching just over a month ago. He shot three-pointers. And he made the most of them. But what proved more important in that session happened moments earlier when Bynum and Pau Gasol took turns defending each other in the post. Their size presence alone gives the Lakers the most distinguishable advantage heading into their first-round series beginning Sunday at Staples Center against the Denver Nuggets.
March 8, 2012 |
The Lakers' championship aspirations significantly hinge on whether the team can make a blockbuster deal before the March 15 deadline. Their stagnant offense significantly points to the Lakers' lacking at the point-guard spot. The Lakers need a youth injection so that the team's foundation remains in good hands once Kobe Bryant retires possibly as early as two years from now when his contract expires. Yet, it's not clear-cut that the solution to the Lakers' problems involves trading Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
October 5, 2012 |
The basketball zipped across the court at blazing speed. Before anyone could fully process how to defend it, Pau Gasol demonstrated his versatility in a split second. He caught Steve Nash's pass in traffic. Just as defenders swarmed to him outside the paint, Gasol flicked the ball with a quick touch. His sharp vision ensured Dwight Howard received an open look inside. After a pump fake, Howard then slammed a two-handed dunk. Howard's finishing slam understandably drew attention.
October 3, 2012 |
No longer do the Lakers face the nagging question of whether Andrew Bynum can stay healthy. It affected them for seven years as Bynum slowly but surely became an elite center. It left the training staff busily in finding ways to keep his creaky knees healthy. It left the Lakers' coaching staff exercising caution so another incident wouldn't occur. That's why the news that Bynum will sit out at least three weeks at the opening of Sixers training camp partly because of a bone bruise in his right knee sounded all too familiar.