O.C. Register: Maybe it’s the scruffy beard or soft tones Pau Gasol uses when he speaks. Perhaps it’s his genteel manner that doesn’t waver whether he’s talking to reporters or kids.
It also could be the way Gasol, at times, finesses his way to the basket rather than bulldoze through defenders or his penchant for the beach lifestyle.
Whether it’s his voice or slender build, Gasol has made an impression with Lakers watchers and it certainly hasn’t been as an enforcer.
The 7-foot power forward is notoriously shy about contact around the basket, isn’t a beast on the boards and can be outmuscled on post-ups. He’s never been ejected from a game and rarely fouls out.
But that doesn’t mean he’s a softie, either. Not when he puts his mind to it.
“He’s got everybody fooled,” Kobe Bryant said. “He’s very intense…. Pau’s not a quiet guy by any means. When he plays, he’s very intense, very focused. He has a high basketball IQ and that’s always a plus.”
Gasol admitted that off the court, he prefers a more laid-back approach, hanging out at the beach and eating sushi. But on the court, he’s a different person.
“I have a lot of fire in me, passion in me, a lot of heart once I step on the floor,” Gasol said. “Then I get into a mood where I’m super aggressive and the whole thing changes. I enjoy it because I feel confident enough to where I feel I can dominate and be one of the top players in the world.”