Seemingly everything this past season ailed Pau Gasol.
His numerous injuries, including an upper respiratory infection, a hurt groin and vertigo, sidelined him for a combined 22 games. His preference to play in the post at a methodical rate clashed with Mike D’Antoni’s faster tempo system that depends heavily on outside shooters. Although he averaged 17.4 points on 48 percent shooting, Gasol’s defense often appeared shaky. The never ending uncertainty that the Lakers would trade Gasol did not help, either.
Yet, nearly a month after the Lakers ended their worst season in L.A. franchise history, Gasol wrote a blog entry on his personal Web site that suggests he has emerged in much higher spirits.
“I feel great. My vertigo problems are finally over,” Gasol wrote. “I’m not physically frustrated or mentally tired. I can’t remember the last vacation when I was feeling this good.”
Gasol’s latest condition coincides with returning to his native Spain where he reports spending time with friends and family members in Barcelona. He described his current schedule entailing “leisure activities and some commitments with sponsors,” but he plans to ramp up to complete workouts by June. Though Gasol will spend part of his summer in July weighing his free agency options, he also plans to play for Spain in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball, which takes place Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 in Spain.
“For a professional sports player it’s impossible to let yourself go physically during vacation,” Gasol said. “Actually, doing that should be banned. You can use the time to improve physically, focusing on the many details you still need to practice, and trying to grow. Because you can always grow.”
Gasol did not offer any perspective on D’Antoni’s resignation nearly two weeks ago or his future outlook in free agency. But he has said in the past that he would want to sign with a championship contending team. Gaosl is expected to attract interest in the open market, but it appears highly unlikely he will make nearly the $19.3 million he received last season with the Lakers.
But for now, Gasol simply sounded content with recharging.
“I’m back home. Anyone who spends more than half a year away from their country will know what this sentence means,” Gasol wrote. “There’s something special about meeting up with your family, with your friends, getting back into your old routines and talking to journalists that you knew from before, people you feel very close to and you can finally be together with.”