Pau Gasol practiced with the Lakers today for the first time in training camp, but perhaps for the last time in his career. He acknowledge the awkwardness and also the uncertainty surrounding him, what with the proposed three-team trade re-submitted to the NBA. Gasol sat out Friday because of a strained right quadriceps.
Lamar Odom did not attend the practice in order to undergo his physical.
Question: What it’s been like for you the last few days?
Gasol: “It’s not been easy. Mentally and emotionally, it’s a hard situation to deal with because the situation is out of your control. Even knowing that it’s still hard. You come in and you’re excited about a new challenge, a new season, a new coaching staff, pretty much the same teammates. Obviously, all these talks are on. It was very close to happening two days ago. They got stopped for some reason, but if the NBA hadn’t stopped it I would be gone. I wouldn’t be here.
“It’s tough to keep your balance. At the same time I’m happy it hasn’t happened because my heart is here, my mind is here. I want to be here. That’s the reality. I heard it was back on the table again. Everything is possible again. So, I guess I have to be patient and whatever happens, hopefully, it’ll happens quick, so I can adjust to the idea, to either idea, whether it’s staying here and preparing myself for a very challenging season full of goals and exciting. Or a change in scenario, the whole thing.
“I haven’t been able to reach Lamar. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy at for him either. He has been here longer than I have. You try to make the city you play in your home, but it’s hard to do it because once you get established and comfortable and settled, anything can happen. It’s part of the business, as we know. It’s always hard.
Q: What’s it been like in practice with a new coach?
“I’ve always been a committed and respectful person, and I will continue to be. From what I know, I’m here and paying attention to every detail. I had a lot of fun today being able to practice with my guys. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to do it again tomorrow.”
Q: In Houston, they kept Kevin Martin and Luis Scola out of practice today, what went into the decision for you to practice?
“Because I love to. This is what I love to do. I’ve been through so much here. We won two championships in 3 1/2 seasons. I was looking forward to winning another one, making another run. So, I love practicing with my teammates. It was hard for me to sit down with my quad and just watching and sitting. Today, I wanted to try it and I was able to go and practice without too much soreness.”