Has there been another player in the NBA that has been labeled “soft as silly putty”, but has continued to overcome trade rumor after trade rumor after trade rumor?
You can call Pau Gasol a “soft” player all you want, but if you look at his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s had to play through many distractions – specifically, trade rumor after trade rumor after trade rumor.
And after the latest trade rumor (the one that stated he would be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Bynum) came and gone, it appears that Gasol has overcome yet another “distraction”.
Again, call him soft all you want.
Here’s an account of one specific that he had to go through. Read it and then continue to call him soft:
“I checked my Twitter at intermission and I see that it’s almost official,” Gasol said Tuesday after the Lakers 110-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “I was getting all these messages, ‘Farewell, Pau. That’s for all your services’ all that stuff.
“It was a really good musical. I enjoyed it. I brought my parents and my little brother. It was a nice family time. But that kind of affected a little bit, the rest of the show.”
Asked, jokingly if it stopped him from enjoying the Lion King’s famous song, Hakuna Matata, which means “no worries” in Swahili, Gasol laughed and said, “Yeah, that would’ve been a good way to go. But that’s how I approach things anyway, most of the time.”
THIS IS JUST ONE INSTANCE!
Imagine how many times he’s had this happen, or has had to go through something similar to this in the past?
Yes, Gasol isn’t averaging what we come to expect a player of his magnitude to average this season, but let’s remember that he’s playing with a really bad roster. One could argue that it’s worse than the one’s he played with in Memphis.
“But shouldn’t his numbers be better?” No. He’s not that player anymore. He shouldn’t have to carry a team anymore, nor should any front office, or fan base, expect him to.
So, in essence, yes, his numbers could be better, but I’m not sure if the “should” be better. However, it should be noted that in his four games since returning from his upper respiratory infection, he’s averaged a double-double. He’s a gamer. That was also amid the trade speculation.
With that said, we all know that this isn’t going to be the end of the “distractions” for him this season. They’ll come again, and perhaps go away like they’ve done time and time again, during his time in Los Angeles. Maybe one will finally stick and he’ll be gone.