There’s a lot weighing on Pau Gasol’s mind, and it goes beyond the rehab surrounding his knees. It also goes beyond Gasol’s upcoming preparation tomorrow when he meets with the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires, Argentina to make his pitch that his native Spain should host the 2020 Olympic Games in Madrid.
This involves something far more important than basketball. This involves Lamar Odom, who was arrested last week on DUI suspicion and has reportedly struggled with drug addiction.
“I wish that he’s well and if the rumors are true that he recovers because I have great love for Lamar,” Gasol told reporters in Buenos Aires. “He’s a great guy and going through a tough moment.”
Gasol echoed similar words last week through 140 characters on Twitter. He also told a fan that he tried contacting Odom, but it appears he hasn’t had much success.
Gasol’s affection for Odom remains deeply rooted for obvious reasons. Gasol played with Odom in four of his seven season with the Lakers, appearing in three consecutive NBA Finals and winning two league championships. The Lakers’ acquisition of Gasol Feb. 2008 stemmed from a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies eventually resulted in Odom having a bench role. But the two formed great chemistry because of their versatile and complementing skillset, their amiable personality and their positive outlook.
It’s clear Gasol still maintains that mindset even if the circumstances surrounding Odom appear dim.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org