By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent addition of Andre Drummond shifted Marc Gasol to a reserve role at the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spanish big opened up about adjusting moving forward into the 2020-21 NBA Regular Season with the defending champions.
“Things change and you have to adapt as fast as possible,” he admitted, “Things can change quickly in the NBA just as they have changed for me. But, I’m committed to this team. It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know I’m going to be out of the lineup at some point. It’s never easy on a player. As a basketball player, you want to play. You want to contribute, especially when you made that commitment for that reason. But, we’ll see.”
With Drummond recovering from a toe injury suffered in his Lakers debut, Gasol started against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. He produced five points, nine rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 28 minutes.
“I think there’s an asterisk to that. I think there’s an ‘if’ – ‘if’ they need you. And it’s a big ‘if,’” he said on earning additional playing time down the road and in the playoffs, “You’re not Plan A right now. You’re Plan C, D. You have to accept it because that’s your job. And that’s what you sign up to do. It’s never easy to accept that.”
Gasol, 36, has been part of the starting unit in 955 of his 972 NBA appearances since 2008. He signed a two-year contract prior to the season and remains locked in on his initial goal of helping the Lakers win another championship, despite being shifted behind Drummond in Frank Vogel’s plans.
In his first 39 games this season, he put up 4.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 blocks per contest.
The Lakers, 31-18, are currently ranked fourth in the Western Conference, trailing the leaders Utah Jazz by 6.5 wins.
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