Friday, March 9, 2012
Updated: March 10, 3:06 AM ET
Pau Gasol takes latest rumor in stride
By Ramona Shelburne
MINNEAPOLIS -- Another day, another trade rumor for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol to deal with.
This time Gasol was supposedly on his way out of town. Deal had been done. Destination unknown.
But Gasol never got a call from either his agent, Arn Tellem, or Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak telling him that anything serious was happening, so he brushed off the thousands of tweets flooding his inbox and took an hour an a half nap before the Lakers 105-102 win over the Timberwolves.
That's right, with the trade winds swirling again, Gasol managed to take a nap.
"I slept a good hour and 15. I'm that kind of guy. What can I say? It was impressive," a clearly bemused Gasol said.
"I said to myself: 'If anything serious was about to happen, I would get a call from a significant person,' and I didn't get that. And I also said to myself that anybody can start out rumors. They start out small and then they come out big. With me it's been like that several times this season.
"I can't control certain things. I'm just going to continue to do my job as best as I can this season. Obviously, the less I hear about it the better. But March 15 is around the corner, so one way or another I'll be here or I'll be, who knows?"
While the rumor of his imminent departure was obviously overblown this time around, there was some substance behind it. According to multiple league sources, the Lakers have continued to field calls and listen to offers for the talented Spaniard. While there were talks with the Houston Rockets in recent days, nothing became serious because the Lakers aren't inclined to move Gasol unless they can get an All-Star-caliber player in return, most likely a point guard.
"Nothing surprises me anymore," said Gasol, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds and made a game-saving block in Friday's win. "It's never pleasant because it kind of puts you on edge, but it's going to be like this I think for the rest of these next six days."
While Gasol is getting used to the constant distraction, his teammates say they still feel for him.
"I love, I adore Pau," Kobe Bryant said. "It's tough to see him go through this crap. I wish that I could do something. It's tough, it's tough.
"It upsets me because the one-on-one relationship we've had since he's got here. We met in the hotel soon as he got off the plane [from Memphis in 2008]. The 2 a.m. meetings in my room in Boston during the Finals. All of that stuff, it's not going anywhere."