Two years ago rumors of Pau Gasol ending his basketball career with Barcelona were persistent. Then he joined the Chicago Bulls. Before he signed with the San Antonio Spurs, the same rumors keep on haunting him but eventually died a natural death.
Eurohoops.net reports that playing for the Spurs before was not yet an option for Gasol which is why he ended up with the Bulls. But with the right timing, playing for Gregg Popovich was definitely the right decision he made this summer.
Aside from his NBA options, moving to Barcelona was also another option to consider for Gasol. Returning to his ball club seemed ideal but the chance ended when he went on to sign a two-year contract worth $31.7 million with the Spurs.
“Now it was the right time to go to San Antonio”, explained the Spaniard: “Popovich has he told me that I will give a lot and along with LaMarcus Aldridge, without Tim Duncan anymore, I will be one of the leaders of the team on the front line”.
It seems Gasol bent on playing his remaining basketball years in the NBA. At age 36, he still is a reliable go-to-guy as he has shown with the Bulls when their superstars were down with injuries. Gasol with the Bulls averages 16.5 points with 11.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game and that is hard to find for a big man at his age.
Gasol’s chance of ending his career with FC Barcelona is now clearly out of the picture. But Gasol asserted that playing for Spain’s national squad remains a priority. He stated that it will still depend on how his body responds to the pressure of playing overseas.
“While still playing in the NBA, my chances of returning to FC Barcelona remains slim. It’s a nice idea, but becoming less and less possible. My hope of playing for the national team remains the same, evaluating it year by year and analyzing how my body adapts to the workload,” Gasol added.
With Tim Duncan retiring from the Spurs, Gasol brings another era of basketball to the team. As he joins Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard in a bid to give the Spurs its sixth title under Popovich.
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