The 2012 Olympics came and went for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol with the same result as back in 2008 with the two-time NBA champion going home without the Gold medal. Even though Spain was able to make it back to the gold medal game with a chance to get some revenge on Kobe Bryant and Team USA, not much changed with the Americans taking out the Spaniards and Gasol earning a second consecutive Silver medal for his efforts.
Although Spain had to continue their quest for the Gold without the injured Ricky Rubio in 2012, the Spanish team was arguably more talented than it was four years ago. The roster was stacked with NBA talent such as Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Jose Calderon leading the way. Unfortunately, that squad wasn’t enough to get past Kobe and company.
With Father Time creeping up on Gasol at 32 years-old, the Spanish forward isn’t sold on the prospect of playing alongside his brother for one more go at 36 in 2016, according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Times:
“It’s too early to say,” Gasol said on whether he’d play in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. “I always take it one year at a time and see the next goal and next target. My mind and my focus is on next season with my team on the Lakers and helping as much as I can to bring back the title. That’s where my head is at. 2016 is a little far ahead.”
Obviously, with the Lakers acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard over the summer, the 2016 Olympics is the furthest thing from Gasol’s mind at this point in time. With two more superstars coming into the mix in Los Angeles, Gasol has to be thinking about the potential to win multiple championships in Los Angeles with everything else taking a back seat.
As arguably the one player on the current Lakers’ roster that stands to benefit the most from the acquisition of Nash and Howard, Gasol is ecstatic about the news of the new superstar foursome.
For the time being, there will be no more trade rumors or added pressure surrounding Gasol. With the pressure off and the possibility of being traded elsewhere a distant memory, the veteran forward can finally concentrate on basketball instead of wondering where he’ll be playing in immediate future or taking the blame for not pulling his weight.
It’ll be interesting to see how Gasol responds to his new role next season. It could potentially be a big year for the international star with a lot more involvement in the offense and a comfortable role tailored to his game.
In case you missed it – Dwight Howard’s introductory press conference with the Lakers!