Former Los Angeles Lakers All-Star and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Pau Gasol has signed a contract to return to his home team — FC Barcelona — after rumors of him making a return to the NBA.
Gasol has spent much of the last year rehabbing and recovering from a foot injury that removed him from a full season. As he began his rehab process, news began spreading that he sought a return to basketball, and his brother Marc Gasol joining the Lakers helped intensify those talks.
Gasol dispelled any potential returns to the Lakers by announcing himself that he would be joining Barcelona — his first professional basketball team — as soon as his recovery is complete.
Very happy to come back home.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Força Barça! 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/6CewIY2Bil
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 23, 2021
Pau was not the only Gasol brother tied to Barcelona via rumors. Before signing with the Lakers, there were suggestions that Marc would leave the NBA, a narrative he called totally untrue. “That was not accurate at all,” he said last year.
“I think someone made that assumption just because I’m not out there and communicate a lot of things. I think people just try to make that decision for me and thought that was a good time to try it.”
However, Pau did go on record to say that he would have loved to team up with his brother on the Lakers if he was given the opportunity. He said that it would be “special,” but that he wasn’t in a place to make any demands.
Gasol will now head overseas to continue his playing career. At 40 years of age it’s remarkable that he is even able to play for the world’s second-largest basketball league.
Marc wanted Pau to focus on recovery before thinking about Lakers reunion
As the Gasol brothers made headlines during Marc’s beginning time with the Lakers, he did his best to keep rumors from continuing about whether or not Pau would be making a return. He stressed that Pau should continue his recovery before making any decisions.
“I think it’s up to his health, first and foremost,” Marc said. “Pau has to be healthy and has to continue to stay healthy throughout the process of rehabbing, building that endurance and continued impact on his foot and bone.
“The only way you know that is through playing, so I think he has to find a way to play a little bit and see how his body reacts.”
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