The Lakers want Pau Gasol to have a more dominating presence, and this time the reasons go beyond filling Kobe Bryant’s leadership void.
Gasol has pledged he will donate $1,000 for every point he scores when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors Friday at Staples Center to UNICEF’s relief efforts to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. But in a sign that he hasn’t really stopped coaching, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson issued Gasol a different challenge.
@paugasol i’m in for $50 per point, $50 per rebound, and $1000 for every charge taken, mi compadre
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) November 21, 2013
Will Gasol do it?
“For every charge,” Gasol said, laughing. “I might be able to take a charge then. It will be the first one of the season.”
Gasol has gone through similar efforts in recent years including ones for relief efforts regarding Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and Haiti’s earthquake in 2010. For his latest initiative, Gasol has asked fans to help donate through Crowdrise.com.
“Hopefully more people will collaborate and donate. This country has been destroyed by this catastrophe,” said Gasol, who’s in the final year of his contract worth $19.3 million. “I feel great doing it and I feel like if we have the means to help people there who are going through this type of terrible tragedy, we should all be able to help and contribute.”
So will Gasol tie Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record by scoring 100 points to ensure a $100,000 donation?
“That’s out of my range,” Gasol said with a smirk.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org