With the Lakers run to the NBA Finals, then the Olympics and his commitments back in Spain, Pau Gasol has been going pretty strong without an extended break for nearly a year. If anyone could use a few days off to recharge around the All-Star break in mid-February, it’s Gasol.
The thing is, Gasol wants to go.
He’s only been an All Star one other time in his career, in Houston for the 2006 All Star Game as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, and it was a fairly miserable experience he’d like to have another crack at.
“Trust me. I know the beauty of enjoying those days off,” Gasol said. “But I also know the pride of playing in the All Star game. The time that I did make it, I got sick and I was in bed the whole weekend. I played like 15 minutes, but playing in the game was like the only thing I got to do. I had to just stay in bed the whole time so I would have the energy to play in the game. ”
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he expected “a lot of support” for Gasol among Western Conference coaches who will be filling out the roster after fan voting. Gasol is averaging 17.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in just over 35 minutes a game this season. Perhaps most impressively though, he’s shooting a torrid 56 percent from the field and has an efficiency rating (the measure of how a team does when a particular player is on the court) of +23.28.
Jackson’s support for his own candidacy — the coach with the best record in the conference coaches at the All-Star game — was far less enthusiastic.
“I have go and grin and bear it. That’s what my mom told me,” he said. “It’s just all that stuff you have to do. If it was just the game it wouldn’t be so bad.”