Media Day: Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar
First, you got your Pau Gasol vids. His finger feels good and there's no fatigue after an offseason of international play on the heels of a long playoffs. El Spaniard is ready for the Lakers' title defense and plans to channel his inner "Temple of the Dog" in an effort to secure that objective.
"We've got to stay hungry. Hungrier than the rest of the teams that didn't win it last year and want it really bad, too. That's the key."
Along these lines, I talked a bit with Pau about his role during the playoffs (and in particular, during the Finals against Dwight Howard) as a defensive presence, a description that's typically alluded him over the course of his career. While I've often felt Gasol's D took more flak than deserved (For all the talk about Gasol getting pushed around against Boston- and it did happen at times- he often made scoring just as difficult for Tim Duncan, Carlos Boozer and especially Kevin Garnett.), Pau's admission that he didn't always prioritize D certainly caught my ear. Safe to say, these recent playoffs were a learning experience for him on that end.
Andrew Kamenetzky: Along the lines of the toughness referenced before, what did it meant to you personally to not only win a title, but to have won it by playing defense and exhibiting a toughness that had been questioned?
Pau Gasol: I was happy that I could help a lot more defensively and my team relied on me defensively to guard the top scorers, inside presences, on the other team. That was a challenge, obviously. Something that I didn't really have to do before much. That I maybe didn't think maybe was that important. But it was key and I was proud to help my team defensively as well as offensively.
From there, our conversation continued on the clip below...
Jordan Farmar's clip begins with him referencing extension talks between the Lakers and his agent. "It's my career. It's their future," noted Farmar while expressing pleasure with the conversation's fluidity and tone. Personally, I'd be stunned if anything was actually inked, and should my instincts prove correct, Farmar didn't seem too worried over the lack of long term security. (It helps that Mitch Kupchak told him that numerous trade offers were nixed.) Ditto the potential situation where he, Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown are all playing for new contracts- and minutes- at the same position. "You can't really think about that. You just play basketball and the other stuff works itself out."
That carefree attitude shouldn't be confused with indifference towards grabbing the starting lead guard spot for the Lakers, which he labeled "best job in the League." Tearing that title from Fish's not-so-cold-and/or-dead hands won't be easy, so Farmar is prepared to scrap. "It's not going to be given to me."