The Spanish international pivot Pau Gasol A period of “month or month and a half” has been set to know if he will be able to return to the courts or end his professional career, interrupted almost a year and a half ago by a fracture from stress on the left foot.
Pau Gasol (Barcelona, July 6, 1980) attends EFE by videoconference from his home in San Francisco, where he enjoys his recent paternity, and explains where you are in your recovery.
“This pandemic, within all the bad that it has brought us, is giving me a little more margin to recover that foot, and the progression is being positive. In the next month or month and a half, my level of demand on the track will be very high, and there I will find out if I can compete again, “he says.
The Catalan player, who in the coming weeks will incorporate “contact” in his training sessions, is clear that “if in November or December he” sees “that there is some complication or things are not going as they should”, you will have to announce your withdrawal.
The goal, acknowledges Pau, is “to be able to compete at the highest level for one more season and play, in Tokyo, other Olympic Games“, but he is aware that he has just turned 40 and that he has practically passed the last two blank courses due to his health problems.
“I continue to work with enthusiasm in my recovery, but you have to touch with your feet on the ground: I’ve been away from competition for a year and a half and I’m no longer a kid “, he sums up.
“There comes a time when things end and the lights go out”
In any case, the older Gasol says he feels “a privileged one” for the career he has had, and that, if he should finally retire, he will leave happy “for having been able to enjoy so many years of sport at the highest level.
“There comes a time when things end and the lights go out. We would all like to have a dream ending, but most of the time it doesn’t. That’s why you have to savor every game, every moment, every day, living it as if it were the last. “he reflects.
“I am very prepared for the next chapter of my life. But I’m also working to see if it can extend a couple more pages what I have enjoyed so many years, “he adds.
Father for the first time
In this new vital chapter his daughter appears, Elisabet Gianna, born last month as a result of his relationship with Catherine McDonnell. The couple chose the little girl’s middle name to honor Gianna’s memory, the daughter of his friend and teammate in the Lakers Kobe Bryant. Both were killed in a helicopter crash last January.
Elisabet Gianna’s godmother is Vanessa, Bryant’s widow. “Kobe and his family mean a lot to us. They have gone through a tragic loss, which has also been double, and we thought that that was a good way to honor the family and have it always very close, “says Gasol about it.
Paternity seems to have not changed Pau’s life much: “We get along very well, the girl behaves well, sleeps well, eats well … And it catches us at a time in life when we are much more at home than before, and we are enjoying it.”
Gone are the constant trips, the games every 48 hours, the adrenaline of the NBA play-offs (He won two rings with the Lakers) and the city changes each time a franchise ended up hiring his services (he has also played for the Grizzlies, Bulls, Spurs, Bucks and Trail Blazers).
Focused on its Foundation
Now, Gasol focuses his life on his family, his recovery and the foundation that he directs with his brother Marc and of which he has just presented the PRE-SAFALÍN pilot project, an initiative to prevent obesity and reduce social inequalities in health from early childhood that will help more than 160 families in Catalonia and the Community of Madrid.
“The Gasol Foundation is based on four pillars: physical activity, nutrition, emotional well-being and quality of rest. We have had significant growth on both sides of the pond and, little by little, this facet of my life has been gaining ground on others“, he details while smiling proudly.
Return to Barça?
Instead, he becomes more serious when asked about the information that placed him, first to him this summer, and recently to his brother Marc, back in the orbit of Barça.
“I don’t know if they came from the same source or created the same noise with equal veracity in both cases. But if in the end things do not leave the player or the club, they are only rumors, and I am surprised by the impact and the route that these news have had without having been contrasted at any time “, responds the 6 times All-Star, who qualifies both information as” ‘fake news’ “.
In this sense, Gasol insisted that right now, he isá “focused” on your recovery processTherefore, the fans who were waiting for the reunion between the center of Sant Boi and his friend Nikola Mirotic, at the Palau Blaugrana, will be left with the desire.
In any case, Pau was full of praise for the new project of the Catalan club, that his “little brother”, as Mirotic likes to call, leads on the court and Sarunas Jasikevicius, on the bench.
“Barça has bet very hard to have a champion team, first with the incorporation of Niko, the most important signing in the history of the Euroleague, and then with a coach like Saras. But not only that, but also betting on Álex (Abrines) and American players very established in the Euroleague like Davies or Higgins. But everything has its process and being a champion does not happen overnight, “he says.