By Antonis Stroggylakis / firstname.lastname@example.org
For quite some time during his 2020 offseason, Marc Gasol was rumored to be considering a return to Europe and his native Spain by joining Barcelona. Now a player of the Los Angeles Lakers, Gasol shut down those rumors as pure speculation, saying that there wasn’t even a talk with Barcelona.
“That was not accurate at all,” Gasol said when asked how close he was to going back to Spain during first official presser by the Los Angeles Lakers. “I think someone made that assumption just because I’m not very ‘out there’ and communicate on things. I think people just try to make that decision for me and thought that was a very good time to try it. I never stated that. I was never close to that. I never even spoke to Barcelona about it.”
“That came as surprise to me but that’s the world we’re living now. You’re hearing something and everybody runs with it,” Gasol added.
Gasol signed with the Lakers, the team that drafted him in 2007 and then sent his rights to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade that also included his older brother Pau.
“I thought the right thing to do was go with the Lakers,” Gasol said in regards to choosing the destination that could provide the ideal challenge for him. The Spanish big man will be looking to help the Lakers win the back-to-back NBA title and add another championship ring to his trophy case after the one he won with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.
“I’m going to miss Toronto. Toronto has been a great place, my family was very settled there, very comfortable, they really enjoyed their time,” Gasol said. “We’re going to miss everyone dearly.”
Gasol believes his skills will be more suited for the Lakers’ system than for what Toronto required of him.
“I thought that my run in Toronto couldn’t get better. We were always chasing the next ring. I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to be the player they needed me there to win it. The right thing to do for me was to join the Lakers and contribute to what they got going on,” Gasol mentioned again.