Pau Gasol just went through the toughest season of his NBA career. Last summer, in the 2012 London Olympics, Gasol performed dominantly for Spain’s national team, and many Lakers fans anticipated that his performance there would spill over to his 2012-13 season with the purple and gold.
However, there was a loss in translation as Gasol’s stats did not meet expectations. While Mike D’Antoni struggled to make adjustments to his system that played to the strengths of Gasol, he was further hampered by multiple injuries, which caused him to miss a total of 33 games.
Gasol appeared and performed more like the Pau that was instrumental to the Lakers winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 during the last month of the season. To continue to get back to the Pau we all know from those championship years, he recently underwent a knee procedure on both of his knees (FAST technique) to eliminate scar tissue.
Gasol confirmed that he will skip playing for Spain in the European Championship in September on his website on Tuesday.
“After valuing the period of the rehabilitation, which I have already initiated, with my medical team of confidence, I sadly confirm that I won’t play in the next European Championship of Slovenia despite I wished it.” “My priority aim is to recover myself thinking in the next season and to be ready, if I’m asked to, for the next challenge with the national team, the World Cup of Spain 2014.”
While Gasol choosing not to play in Slovenia this September isn’t surprising news, it is reassuring for Lakers fans that he will be solely focused on getting prepared for next season. His knee procedure, which was performed on May 9, comes with a 12-week recovery timetable.
It is still unknown whether the Lakers will choose to keep Pau for next season, trade him or use their one-time amnesty clause on him. However, it has been reported that keeping Gasol and his $19.3 million contract price for next season is the Lakers’ “Plan A.”