Pau Gasol is interviewed. The Los Angeles Lakers held a media day at their El Segundo practice facility. Players were photographed for team materials, and interviewed by the press. El Segundo, CA. 9/27/2013. photo by (John McCoy/Los An8eles Daily News)
Pau Gasol has seemingly showed he has nine lives with the Lakers, staying on the franchise he loves despite demoted roles and endless trade rumors.
But even if Gasol arrived to Lakers’ media day on Saturday full of good spirits in having a chance to complete his fifth season donning purple and gold, there remains yet another hurdle he will have to climb.
He reported at full health after having a procedures this offseason to treat the painful tendons in both of his knees, but Gasol has yet to complete basketball-related drills.
“I’m getting there,” Gasol said. “Now training camp is going to be important with how we manage practices and how the knee reacts to the load of work.” Continue reading →
Kobe Bryant remains the top storyline heading into the Lakers’ training camp. Photo credit: Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer
Very few times do the Lakers head into a season without the general public expecting an NBA championship. But with the Lakers beginning training camp today, plenty of intriguing storylines remain. Below are a look at the main ones.
1. How will Kobe Bryant’s recovery go? The Lakers haven’t offered a definitive timetable on when Bryant will return to the court after spending the past five months healing his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. He’s still running on a weight-bearing treadmill and must progress toward basketball-related drills before taking the court.
Don’t expect Bryant to practice in training camp, or many of the Lakers’ eight preseason games. Knowing Bryant’s competitiviness, though, it’s possible he’ll return for the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center. Continue reading →
Lakers forward Pau Gasol reported on Twitter that his knees have improved. Photo credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Pau Gasol recently stepped foot in Los Angeles in high spirits for reasons including a new season and a likely increased role.
There’s another reason, too.
Gasol visited with Dr. Steve Yoon of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Thursday for an evaluation after rehabbing this offseason the tendinosis in both of his knees. Gasol then turned to Twitter to deliver a positive assessment in 140 characters.
Great news! My knees are a lot better thanks to the procedure, the rest & the hard work during the summer! Let's go! pic.twitter.com/NfblNoF9qF
An NBA2K14 simulation has the Lakers missing the NBA playoffs. Photo Credit: NBA2K
Anxiousness awaits for the Lakers’ training camp, and for what?
Very few tab them as NBA championship favorites. Uncertainty lingers on how Kobe Bryant will look after he heals his left Achilles tendon. Skepticism persists over whether Mike D’Antoni can lead these Lakers through troubled times.
That’s perhaps why NBA2K14, a video game that prides itself on comprehensive player analysis and credible game simulations, tabs the Lakers this season failing to reach the playoffs and finishing with a 35-47 record. Granted, NBA2K13 rated last year’s Lakers as the NBA championship favorites, and we all know how that turned out. The NBA2K franchise also may do its own simulations before the Oct. 1 release. I received an advance copy and performed my own simulation.
But there’s plenty of reasons to feel skeptical about the Lakers. Dwight Howard bolted for the Houston Rockets. The Lakers lost their best defensive player in Metta World Peace for the sake of saving luxury taxes through the amnesty provision. The Lakers’ offseason additions in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar bring some added speed and additional scoring. But on paper, it appears the Lakers don’t have enough defensively.
“This team just doesn’t have enough athleticism and speed to contend for a title,” said Clark Kellog, who offers analysis with Steve Kerr while Kevin Harlan serves as the play-by-play announcer for the NBA2K14 game. Continue reading →
It’s marked nine years that Pau Gasol has kept his scruffy beard, and there’s nothing that convinced him to shave it.
After losing a competition to his brother, Marc, of the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a initiative with his self-named foundation. Pau and Marc coached two different teams representing their respective cities in what was called “The Healthy Competition,” a contest that tracked the team’s fitness level using gifted Nike Fuelbands. As with everything, Gasol seemed to be a good sport about losing the bet, posting the experience both on Vine and on Youtube.
Below is the second in a series previewing the storylines surrounding each player on Lakers’ roster for the 2013-14 season.
1. Gasol should have a larger role Amid endless trade rumors and diminished responsibilities, Pau Gasol somehow has stayed on with the Lakers. Part of that hinged on Dwight Howard leaving for the Houston Rockets via free agency and the Lakers never finding a trading partner that could provide enough for Gasol’s value. No matter. Gasol should have a much better year than last season when he posted a career low in points (13.7) and shooting percentage (46.6 percent). That’s because Gasol primarily will operate in the post instead of remaining a facilitator and stretch forward. Such a role change will give Gasol more ownership and confidence he can restore his consistency that led to the Lakers winning two NBA championships in three consecutive Finals appearances.
2. How healthy will Pau Gasol become? The biggest variable surrounding Gasol’s success won’t surround what role he plays, however. It will mostly depend on how much he’s healed the tendonosis in both of his knees. Gasol underwent a procedure in May on his knees that involved removing scar tissue. Despite the Lakers’ estimation that he’d resume basketball activities in late July, Gasol didn’t progress to that stage until early September.
Of course, Gasol still has time to heal. A few weeks remain until training camp starts and the Lakers’ season opener begins Oct. 29 against the Clippers. But it’s possible Gasol doesn’t enter the season fully healthy. Should such a scenario unfold, Gasol’s injury could affect his conditioning and aggressiveness, two variables that would significantly hurt his chances in morphing back into the dominant post player he once was. Continue reading →
Lakers forward Pau Gasol reiterated support for former teammate Lamar Odom, who was arrested last week on DUI suspicion and has reportedly struggled with drug abuse.
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.
Pau Gasol has spent the past few days traveling. He’s rehearsing for his pitch to the International Olympic Committee Saturday in hopes that his native Spain hosts the 2020 Olympic Games in Madrid. Yet, that hasn’t taken away from Gasol’s focus to rehab on his knees.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina Wednesday to speak on behalf of Madrid’s 2020 Olympic bid committee. Credit: Pau Gasol’s Twitter account
Pau Gasol remains an avid traveler and a highly-cultured person, ranging from reading historical novels, making trips to countries in need as a UNICEF ambassador and attending operas. But Gasol’s latest excursion serves a different person.
He landed Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he will represent Madrid’s 2020 Olympic bid committee in hopes that his native Spain can host those Summer Games.
In another sign that suggests he may be fully healthy for the beginning of the season, Lakers forward Pau Gasol spent Labor Day weekend playing on the basketball court for the first time since the team’s first-round loss last April to the San Antonio Spurs.
“After this morning work, this evening I will get back to the basketball court wearing these!” Gasol wrote on his Instagram account, which featured a photo of his shoes. Continue reading →