Pau Gasol -or his ‘alter ego’ in Zoom, Anacleto-, had a fun chat with David Broncano in the program ‘La Resistencia’. And among many other things, he commented why his friend Kobe Bryant, who died this year in a helicopter accident, called him ‘Pablo Escobar’ when they were both partners in the Lakers.
05/10/2020 at 16:40
“Kobe was always looking for ways to motivate his teammates to get the best out of them. I am a calm and balanced player and person, but he wanted to get me that aggressiveness that is needed to compete, because when I play aggressive I am better, much more difficult to defend and stop, “he said. “Kobe called me Pablo Escobar many times. He had seen documentaries about Escobar and I did not know who he was. Later I learned that he was a figure that has a negative connotation for everything he did, but Kobe only resorted to calling me that in order to get me out that aggressiveness of conqueror, of boss, of boss, to show it on the track. He called me that because of my murderous instinct on the track, not because of narco of course, “Pau joked.
Also, the eldest of the brothers Gasol recalled that ‘la Mamba’ “had a huge desire and ambitions to be the best and to be the best that he could be. For that, he studied the best, learned from Michael Jordan, contacted him to absorb the maximum knowledge of this, and I think it has been the closest we have had to Jordan. Then, the work ethic that he has always had, that mental mamba and that winner’s mentality, is something that has been defined a lot, “he said.
“He liked to transmit knowledge, to continue growing as a professional, he did not typecast himself as a basketball player, but he also wanted to be an entrepreneur, a businessman, a person who has transmitted his knowledge through his books, always with that requirement to Kobe’s peculiar, unique and wonderful excellence. He did things at a higher level, with a wonderful demand, “he continued. Gasol.
Sant Boi also referred to Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich as “two of the best coaches in NBA history” and stressed that “I’ve been fortunate to have been coached by both of them. They are two privileged basketball minds, they manage human groups well, but they also try to transcend, they try to give the player a slightly broader perspective. I met Phil in the Lakers, where I won my two titles, the most beautiful stage of my career, that made the relationship with Phil special. With Popovich I coincided at the end of my career and his, too, “she explained.
In addition, he recalled his match against Michael Jordan when he was playing at the Washington Wizards. “He was super nervous. I had to compete and not admire him and stay there. It was a very beautiful experience, a dream: to have him hanging on a poster in your room to play against him,” he confessed.
The Catalan power forward also spoke of the changes in the NBA. “It has evolved into something more dynamic, more points, faster shots, farther shots, not so physical, not so much contact is allowed so there can be more mobility, very short possessions, few passes in each attack. When I was younger The shots that are made today were used to get a coach to send you to the bench punished. Now you are encouraged to do just that, to shoot in the first eight seconds of possession.e has lost the beauty of the game, the purity it had, the fact of moving the ball from one side to another, “he said.
Gasol He explained how his stress fracture of the navicular bone of his left foot evolves, so he still doesn’t think about when to return to the courts. “Right now I’m focusing on getting my foot back. I have had a serious injury, at a very advanced point in my career, with a lot of load and kilometers traveled. I’m going to see if this foot can heal and the bone can be strong to play again. From there, I will see if that happens, what I have to do to be able to play competitively and at a high level for the next season and see if I can make it to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics“he asserted.
“IN THESE MOMENTS, ADMIRED PEOPLE MUST TAKE A STEP FORWARD”
In another vein, Gasol spoke of his two months of confinement. “I have practically not left home. Initially there was a state of shock, a change for a forced stoppage for everyone, a state of alarm and concern at the amount of negative and hard news we have received in these weeks and also because Spain is one of the most affected countries and with the highest number of infected, after the United States, “he said.
“It has been difficult for me to be away from my family, but I have used the time to do what is at my fingertips, continuing with the recovery from my injury, being quite active. You have to be proactive, innovative, trying to adapt to a different situation, but this is to send positive messages, make people aware of being responsible, “he added.
Lastly, he recalled the ‘Our best victory’ campaign started with Rafa Nadal and the Red Cross. “You have to understand the position we occupy; we not only have to be in the moments when everything is going well, in which you are applauded and appreciated, but in times of difficulty. In these moments, the most admired people should give one step forward. We joined Rafa in a coordinated effort to reach those most affected by the coronavirus and to go beyond sports, “he said.
“We are experiencing something that we have never faced before and this type of union initiative is required, without competition, without rivalries, helping each other. We are close to the goal that we set, which is 11 million euros, to reach 1,350 .000 people, “he said.