Pau Gasol stopped by the Lakers’ practice facility today and talked with reporters about the flurry of trade rumors, including some involving him and fellow 7-footer Andrew Bynum. He also spoke about the difficulty of rebounding from a poor performance in the Lakers’ second-round playoff loss to the Dallas Mavericks last May. And he said he hasn’t said he hasn’t seen any details on the new collective bargaining agreement, but expects the players to vote in favor of it and for camps to open Friday as scheduled.
Of the rumors of a breakup of the Lakers’ roster and the possibility he could be traded, he said: “There’s a lot of speculation, a lot of rumors going around. It creates attraction. It’s good for the fans to have this kind of attention, good for the NBA, too. So, as long as nothing happens and we have the guys we have and we’re completely fine with that, we’ll go to work with the team we have. Well, you can’t control that. You can’t really avoid it, so you’re going to hear your name every now and then here and there. Again, I guess after the way the season ended last year, it’s kind of expected. It happened also at the end of the season. I’m looking forward to getting back on the floor and playing hard and playing my best. After that, I’m sure my name won’t be brought up again.”
Of learning from the Lakers’ early playoff exit, he said: “It was a rough time because things weren’t clicking in different ways, so you take it and analyze all that and you analyze what happened during, before and after and you take your conclusions and you try to learn from all that. So, you’re ready for all that. You, hopefully, can improve your individual level.”
Of the new CBA, he said: “The uncertainty of the lockout, that was kind of uncomfortable and discouraging at times. It seems like it’s finally going to get to an agreement and everyone’s going to get back to work and do their usual thing. That’s positive. I still haven’t seen the proposal. I don’t know what’s on it. We’re supposed to get that today and tomorrow is supposed to be the voting. Everybody takes it for granted that everything is cool and we move forward, which is what everybody wants. It’s funny how there’s nothing specific about it. (Any chance it doesn’t pass?) I don’t think so. I think everybody is ready to move on and accept, not just anything, but what’s on the table.”