Ahead of the release of his docuseries Pau Gasol: It’s About the Journey, the Los Angeles Lakers legend spoke with Lakers Nation about a number of different things, including a surprise appearance by Phil Jackson in the documentary.
A lot of big names made an appearance in the four-part docuseries, which documented Gasol’s career and eventual retirement. Kevin Garnett, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Doc Rivers and Marc Gasol are among the notable names, but it was Jackson that stole the show, with Pau going to his former head coach to seek some sage advice from the Hall of Famer.
Gasol opened up about the special appearance by the Zen Master and what his former coach and the relationship they have means to him.
“That’s kind of what I tried to portray or share with the world,” Gasol said. “When you are going through a period of hardship or you’re are going through uncertainty in a transition and you have questions and you have doubts you have to reach out. You have to ask for advice, you have to ask the people that you love or that know more than you. ‘Hey, what was this like for you? Or what would you do here if you were me?’ And not be afraid or not seclude yourself in a shell and Phil was generous enough and kind enough to allow me to capture that for the documentary because we were doing that, so we felt very organic to do that and with that, I’ve done it with so many others, but Phil is so meaningful in my career. I’ve always had a lot of admiration and respect because he impacted my life beyond basketball, which is not something that every coach can do or does.”
Gasol admits Jackson left a profound impact on his life and basketball career. The two-time NBA champion also talked about one thing in particular that he took from Jackson that remains a big part of his life and the Gasol Foundation.
“So he left a mark in my life and I love him. I love Phil. I always think of Phil in a way. He introduced me to meditation, which I highly value. Now I meditate all my life and it’s a big part of my life. It’s a big part of what we do with the Gasol Foundation with mental health and emotional well-being. It’s such a big part of our health, our world. Luckily now it’s being more talked about.
“Again, for all those reasons. Phil is so important. Again, it’s good for us to reach out and say hey what was this like for you because you’ve been through it. Phil had gone through an injury that kind of ended his career. How he dealt with it. He went through transitioning and moving from city to city with his family, so he can share his knowledge and he can give you true and valuable advice.”
Clearly, Jackson left his mark on Gasol and continues to be a mentor for the 41-year-old to this day. Jackson profoundly impacted the careers of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan as well as Gasol and troubled Hall of Famer Denis Rodman, whom he mentions in the docuseries.
On Nov. 12, the four-part docuseries, Pau Gasol: It’s About the Journey, will become available on Amazon Prime Video. The interview with Jackson is one Lakers fans won’t want to miss as well as the behind-the-scenes look at Gasol’s career and eventual retirement as one of the best international basketball players of all time.
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