Is Pau Gasol’s Lakers Future Dependent Upon Dwight Howard?

Pau Gasol Exit InterviewPau Gasol’s exit interview lasted about 25 minutes this afternoon, and the elephant in the room (that this could very possibly be Pau’s last exit interview as a Laker) was addressed immediately. Gasol said his conversation with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak this morning was very honest and addressed his uncertain future.

“Future is uncertain, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a possibility that I could be gone and there is a possibility that I could stay…but I’m prepared for either way. I understand the challenges that the franchise is facing.”

LakersNation.com asked Gasol if there was any understanding after speaking to Kupchak that his own future was dependent on Dwight Howard’s future with the franchise. Pau said he did not get the sense that the two were directly correlated.

“I don’t think its 100% attached to that. I think the franchise would like to keep Dwight and will do what it takes to keep Dwight here. But that doesn’t mean that if he’s here, I’m automatically gone. At least that’s what I understood.”

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One thing is for certain. If given the choice, Pau Gasol would prefer to stay a Laker

“I would prefer to stay. I’ve always been a pretty loyal guy, and I feel like I belong with the Lakers but there’s not such a thing in the NBA since you can’t really get attached too much to a team because it’s its not up to you…I would prefer to stay but I am prepared if I’m not.”

It’s been no secret that Pau Gasol and Mike D’Antoni have shared their differences over this season, but Gasol said that was also a product of them getting to know each other. If Pau is in a Lakers uniform next year and D’Antoni remains the head coach, he hopes that they will have a better understanding of one another.

“I think we have to understand each other a lot better.”

If this was Pau’s last exit interview as a Laker, he exited in classy fashion. The Spaniard walked out of the room with a sense of gratitude and a smile on his face.

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For a recap of Day 1 of exit interviews, check out our Lakers Nation highlight video below.

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