San Antonio Spurs Pau Gasol may not be the player many were hoping for but there is no denying his drive is higher than it has ever been.
Gasol is a champion, he knows what it takes to win the big games. Many were hoping for the Spurs to land Kevin Durant in the biggest free agency prize of this offseason. We all know the outcome of his decision. For the Spurs, getting younger is priority and the signing of the 36-year old Gasol sparked questions from Spurs fans.
Heading into his 15th year, Gasol is looking forward to this new chapter in his life in playing with San Antonio. His brother, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc, stated of Pau, the best place for him to go and play would be in San Antonio.
“I am incredibly grateful for this tremendous opportunity and I will do my very best to contribute my experience and work ethic to help this extraordinary franchise achieve its goal”. – Pau Gasol
On Thursday, Gasol took toThe Players Tribune,
the same platform Durant used to make his decision, to write a piece entitled, “Driven as Ever”.
In the piece Gasol takes readers through his decision-making process. Alot of variables came into play when deciding whether to leave the Chicago Bulls after spending the past two years, to take a leap and join San Antonio where he looks to win a third NBA championship.
“I am still as driven as ever,” Gasol wrote. “I still need challenges. At the age of 36, the furnace of my competitiveness is still burning as hot as it was when I was a rookie in Memphis.”
Gasol mentioned his time in Memphis. He spent seven years with the Grizzlies and had the best production of his career averaging 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game. He may not provide the same production as he did during his rookie year. For a player to feel that strong should give fans a sense of calmness as a target will be on his back on his production. Spurs needed to get younger, they added another player maybe passed his prime that may not be able to keep up with the small ball lineups that teams have grown accustomed to.
He has the desire. The competitive spirit. He wants to be a part of a team and San Antonio is one of many teams that can surely bring out the best in players. Gasol, in his final saying on his article, he is grateful for the opportunity in front of him.
“Throughout my career in the NBA, my desire has always been to be an instrumental part of a team with a chance of winning the championship. That’s really important for me,” Gasol wrote. “Winning on the court takes precedence over anything else, and obviously this continues to be the case with my decision to join the Spurs. I am incredibly grateful for this tremendous opportunity and I will do my very best to contribute my experience and work ethic to help this extraordinary franchise achieve its goal.”
Words mean everything. Gasol certainly says the right thing. It is only a matter of time when we can see it all in action.
” … San Antonio, I can’t wait to get started. See you very soon.”