The past few days have been very stressful for Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. Earlier this week, he along with Lamar Odom were packaged in a deal that would bring Chris Paul to Los Angeles. It was a hard thing to fathom for Gasol, for he felt that his place with this Laker organization would not be threatened any time soon.
Then the unthinkable happened. NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the 3-team deal that would have sent the Gasol to Houston. Stern’s act was one that angered many Laker fans for some were excited at the idea of having an elite point-guard next to Kobe Bryant. But for Gasol, the veto of the trade was a sigh of relief because he desperately wanted to stay with the Lakers. Even though the Lakers pulled out of negotiations with New Orleans, Gasol is still on the trading block as the Lakers are now targeting Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard. Gasol’s key to making it through all of this has simply been to stay patient.
You know I take it one day at a time right now. Obviously it hasn’t been extremely easy to be calm and quiet and not think about the different possibilities. But, I’m still here and I’m thankful for that.. I’m proud to be here, but again, lets see what happens over the next few days and see where we’re at.”
Gasol has been professional through out the whole process, understanding that despite the organizations intentions, it is still his job to wear a Laker uniform.
I understand that this is a business, and it’s becoming more of a business than a sport nowadays. There’s a part of the business side that’s out of our hands. So my loyalty to the Lakers is total. I’m thankful for everyday that I’ve been here since the trade occurred on February 1st 2008. ’ll continue to be thankful for being here, and I’ll continue to do my best to make this team better.”
Gasol understands that he fell short of the Lakers expectations from him in the playoffs last season. If his professionalism keeps him with this organization, he’ll have a chance at redeeming himself, and reproving his value to this franchise.