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Pau Gasol reflective on past three All-Star appearances

Instead of attending the extravagant parties that make up All-Star weekend, Pau Gasol tossed and turned in his bed. Instead of dining out, he ordered room service. And instead of attending practice, Gasol remained in his room wondering if he could overcome his flu.

This was not how Pau Gasol envisioned his first All-Star appearance. In 2006 with the Memphis Grizzlies, he was selected among one of the Western Conference reserves and saw it as a next step in progression after capturing the 2001 NBA Rookie of the Year award. While some view the NBA All-Star game as a chance to finally let down their guard in what Jerry West recently called a "playground game," mingle with the league's elite and cash in on sponsored appearances, Gasol viewed his first appearance as a chance to prove he belonged. He managed to attend a Jam Session, fulfilling a sponsor responsibility before he got sick, which left him wondering up until tip time if he'd actually appear in the game.

"I wanted to play no matter what," Gasol said. "I played 13 or 14 minutes and got 12 boards or something. I didn't score one point but I had a good time."

The fact that Gasol nearly nailed down his stats (zero points and 12 rebounds in 14 minutes) showed how much the West's 122-120 loss to the East meant to him in Houston, Texas. That's no different Sunday at Staples Center when Gasol will make his fourth All-Star appearance and this time he won't have to worry about health. Instead, he can look forward to other things: the international presence of Gasol (Spain), San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) shows the growing influence basketball has on the international stage, Gasol playing in front of a hometown crowd and alongside teammate Kobe Bryant.

The obvious thread between his first appearance in 2006 and the three consecutive All-Star stints from 2009-2001 point to the Lakers' acquiring him from Memphis in Feb. 2008 for Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton, two first-round picks and the rights to Marc Gasol, whom the Lakers drafted with a second-round pick in 2007. Since that time, the Lakers have gone to three consecutive NBA Finals and have won back-to-back championships. But there's also another common thread where each of Gasol's All-Star appearances follow up on something that was missing before.

Take his simple revelation that he's most looking forward to playing with Bryant, whose insistence that he be more aggressive partly contributed to Gasol having his best statistical month of the season, averaging 21.6 points on 59.3% shooting so far in February. He didn't enjoy the same luxury last year since Bryant missed the All-Star game because of a sprained left ankle. He still provided 13 points and six rebounds in his usual unassuming yet efficient manner. Yet, he couldn't help but feel sorry for Bryant because he didn't have the chance to put up a game-winning shot in the West's 141-139 loss to the East.

Gasol held similar regrets for not being able to fully enjoy his first All-Star appearance while nursing the flu. "I told myself that I had to give myself another chance to actually enjoy being an All-Star," he said. Ironically, Gasol nearly experienced health issue prior to the 2009 game. He came down with the flu again in the Lakers' 113-109 loss Feb. 11, 2009 to Utah, but he felt healthy enough to film a cameo appearance in the show "Numb3rs" the next day and play at full strength. In the West's 146-119 win over East in Phoenix, Gasol tallied 14 points on five of seven shooting and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

"The second one was a lot better," said Gasol, which featured him playing alongside Bryant and playing under Coach Phil Jackson. "I was able to get out and eat outside the room and the events and the actiivites and fully enjoy the whole weekend."

But there's still some unfinished business. The focus of that game rightfully centered on Bryant and Shaq winning the co-MVP award together, with Bryant scoring 27 points and Shaq adding 17, the two hugging each other and the images serving as a symbolic end to a feud that ended three years earlier. Now it will be Gasol's chance to replicate his on-court chemistry with Bryant on the Lakers to the Western Conference All-Stars.

Said Gasol: "I hope [Gregg Popovich] can put us out there and let us do our thing."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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Dude.....Damn I go away for a couple of days and missed the FIGHT, Mamba24 busting a CAP in somebody @ss. Okay, who started this blog MELTDOWN? My money on MAMBA!!!! you mean I'm to LATE...DAMN.

Larry - It's your Roll Call...if they don't like what you post...Then they can post a Roll Call of their own...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | February 20, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Dude...This must be SERIOUS, what would become of the Blog27 if Mamba24 and Lews are gone.....I guess blog 25 carry On.

Some members of the media focused on Kobe being absent from Jerry West's statue presentation..............while neglecting to mention or even question.................Where the hell was Phil Jackson?


Suffice it to say I hear no questions from the media about Jerry West's absence from Kobe's hand and footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.


Is it me?

pfunk - A few things. Pau Gasol and Shaq went to Jerry West's statue unveiling. No praise for them? Phil Jackson wasn't invited because he and West don't get along so you can't attend something you're not invited to. And Kobe didn't invite anyone on the Lakers to attend the ceremony except for PJ and Jeanie. Kobe was invited to Jerry's unveiling but decided to make a video tribute days beforehand instead

Here we go again...

As a "junior member" of this blog, I'm at times, very entertained, at others, very informed, and yet others, very disappointed. Disappointed primarily, with the state of the team and secondly, with the dissension that it creates amongst the fans.
However, I don't take people's opinions personal unless they are directed at me. In a perfect world all the Lakers fans would be in harmony and in agreement about the greatness of the franchise even if this team doesn't always perform as such.
We are constantly being reminded of their vulnerability, but also given glances of their greatness. We are comforted in the thought that we are defending back to back champions and 3 time NBA finalists. That is also why the expectations are high, because we believe that this team will once again be the NBA Champions. We expect them to play that way and not give away the title. Defending champion has its own conotation, to defend it at all cost.
The fact remains, that as fans all we have is our opinions, the choice to support the team no matter what, or the choice to turn away from them until they get better. It obviously indicates that there are different types of fans, and different levels of committment. But fans nevertheless.
If many, or perhaps all of us were gathered to watch a Laker game we would cheer our hearts out and make lasting friendships by simply finding the common ground that is our love for the Lakers. Any differences of opinion would give way to our passion for the team. On the other hand, not every Laker fan will be to our liking because of their other values or character traits.
The blog tends to portray fans in certain categories, we may agree more with some and thus begin a certain fondness with them and eventually an alliance. Conversely, when we disagree with others' points of views we are enbolden to let them know because we have been endorsed by "senior bloggers", or because we have the freedom to do so.
The fact is that when we choose to engage other bloggers by either agreeing or disagreeing with them there is always the chance that something will be taken out of context or misunderstood. That is because we only have the written word. We can not hear tone of voice, see facial expressions or other body language that is very much a part of communicating.
I personally respect balanced opinions and not extreme ideologies. I'm always impressed by bloggers that apologize when they are wrong or have wronged someone. I also appreciate the long tenured fans that date back to when I wasn't a fan, and those that have experienced the ups and downs of this team with their unwavering loyalty.
Ultimately, when we decide to post, we open ouselves to revealing a little of who we are and what we are passionate about. When someone disagrees, we take it personal, we shouldn't. Let's grow thicker skin, accept our differences, deal with the reality that fans are passionate. At times passionately wrong and at times passionately right, with an occassional in between.
The so called trolls, get their kicks by insulting our loyalty to the team as it struggles. Their sole purpose is to antagonize us and make their light shine brighter by attempting to put out ours. Let's stand together against them. There is a difference between friendly rivalries and other basketball aficionados that happen to cheer for other teams. It happens at our workplaces or in our families, and yes they are going to rub it in. I hate it when family members are fans of other teams that beat mine, but that's another story.
In the spirit of the blog, diversity, and tolerance, thank you to all of you for making being a Lakers fan even more enjoyable than it already is. And yes that includes LakerTom, Mamba24, KBBlitz, KobeMVP888, to name a selected few for a reason. I won't always see eye to eye even with those that I respect more (allies) but everyone contributes in some form or another to the value of this blog.

LET'S GO LAKERS!

Well - let me just apologize to anyone (esp Mamba24) who was offended or upset by me stating my opinion about not liking bandwagons for trolls.

My opinion is just that - my opinion. And it counts just as much as anyone else's - including Sonny's. Or any troll for that matter.

Real talk.

Now - can we get back to dissing princess jimmy, bashing refs and wondering WTH that was with the stupid slam dunk 'contest' last night?? And yeah - cheering for our Lakers. Cuz the 2nd half of the season is upon us. And here's hoping we stay healthy through it. The PO's are right around the corner and we're about to 3peat. It doesn't get any better than that!

Nice post Laker J.

To my compatriot Lew,

You said: "Well I'm confused...MVP888 get's more grief and attacks on this thread, more than some of the so called trolls...Meanwhile you all condone, Fish sucks, Luke sucks, PJ sucks, the Lakers suck and Mitch sucks".

I just want to opine and add a little enlightenment than to further contribute to confusion. When we talk of our players like u mentioned Fish, Luke, PJ, Mitch - you are referring to celebrities and public figures. They are the main subject matters of this blog. Below is the description of a public figure based on law:
"A public figure is a person of great public interest or fame, such as a politician, celebrity, or sports hero. The term usually used in the context of libel and defamation actions, where the standards of proof are higher if the party claiming defamation is a public figure and therefore has to prove disparaging remarks were made with actual malice."

To say that Sonny Belfast is similar to a family dog ....that is a no-n0 because SB is not a public figure. To equate him to a dog is a defamation unless you can prove that he is really a dog. Then, LT further added: " Do I have to ask those who forget those things and are kissing his ass how it tastes?" Was he referring to all people who were under the Sonny Belfast bandwagon or to Mamba24, again these bloggers are not public figures, they have the right to embrace who they like and not branded as a** ki**ing individuals. Again, going back to the spirit of the law, they are not public figures. They are not Kobe, PJ or Luke but individuals duly protected being maligned without evidence.

In a nutshell, that is the difference when 888 attacks on yellofever, hobbit, laker truth just because they made silly comments on his favorite players and coach. The best thing is to reason out by going against the message not the person. Lew, I have been attacked here several times if I don't know or care about the poster I just ignore the personal attack, however if he's a regular poster and I believe he's not right, I immediately confront him.

Be it as it may, this is only a blog, sort of entertainment, we were just having fun with Sonny B if you read the posts we were answering his banters against Kobe. JovBatz44 talked about religion and then we come with idea of adopting him to be a Lakerholic to the Lakers Blog. It is like playing rock n roll within hearing of Manuel Noriega! It is all taken w/ jest and fun, as Laker J said: we have all definition of trolls and friendly rivalries. There my suggestion to the blog, let freedom rings in choosing your enemies as our friends, or vice versa in choosing your friends as our enemies.



Now - can we get back to dissing princess jimmy, bashing refs and wondering WTH that was with the stupid slam dunk 'contest' last night??Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 20, 2011 at 02:48 PM
*
YES WE CAN!! And incidentaly being Justanothermambafan(Head of the Mamba Clan) means never having to apologize to Mamba24, but...Thank You. And also, Real Talk... Your opinion counts more than anyone else's in the world to me. OK Controversy Closed. Mamba24 sends out his APOLOGIES to all that I have offended. I now leave for the afternoon, but will be back bright and early in the morning! LOVE YA LAKERS NATION!!! LET THE 2ND HALF BEGIN!!!

CRUESTERS
It's a beautiful day in Colorado. Simple as that.

To say that Sonny Belfast is similar to a family dog ....that is a no-n0 because SB is not a public figure. To equate him to a dog is a defamation unless you can prove that he is really a dog.
Posted by: Edwin Gueco
=======

Hey Edwin,

While I often agree with you, as for the family dog comment, well, to say that Sonny is like the family dog isn't defamation.
I was surprised he was held in such high esteem, and I don't mean that sarcastically.
Anyone being compared to any dog I have ever had, well, that would be quite the compliment.

Woof, woof...

LakerJ- Dude...That was spot ON.

EG- Man, always enjoy reading your comments.

Mamba24- Dude...always kissing UP.

Damn I hope the Lake Show make it to the FINALS, or will just have to SPANK the Spurs.

"LET FREEDOM RING" GO HEAT

G. Money I'm going to say this once and only once. You do not want to Mess with me or any of the Mamba family!!!!!

blah, blah, blah...

The East's starting lineup looks incredibly well-suited for the open style of the All-Star game. There's some crazy athleticism and speed on that squad. Skill guys like Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol are great for the real games, but not so much for these exhibition style games.

I'd like to see Blake Griffin and D-Howard, two potentially future Lakers, match up in the game. Who'd you rather have? I think I'd go with Howard because of his size.

One of my favorite moments from last night? The crowd booing Pierce in the 3 pt contest. You could tell he was bothered by it. Goes to show that it doesn't matter that LA's your hometown...if you play for the Celtics, you are the enemy.

I found myself rooting hard for James Jones in the final round. Not yet sure who I'll be rooting for in the ECF, but it'll be a tough decision. I think we match up better against Boston, but I dislike Miami less than Boston.

If Troy Murphy goes to Denver in the Anthony deal - is there anyway LA could acquire him in trade? He would help the Lakers with both rebounding, depth in front court and perimeter shooting.

Also, any thoughts on the earlier Sasha trade? As Joe Smith has done nothing so far for the Lakers and outside shooting or lack thereof seems to be an issue - that trade does not look so good right now. However, the ace could be the trade exception value that came with that deal. Is this why the deal was made? If the Lakers don't use it this year - does it create value in the future?

Any insights out there?

DKWSFO

Mamba24

The roll-call on this blog is your trademark on this blog. I am for one are honored to be mentioned in your roll call. It's trouble me that someone, albeit a fellow Lakers fans, misconstrued the intent of the roll-call and questioned your comments or choice of bloggers, whether they are the Lakers fan or not, to be on your roll call. You know that I am a big fan of your roll call and have the highest respect for your passion and sense of humor. Therefore, I'd implore you to take a deep breathe and think of only the positive vibes, joy and smiles you created with your roll-call. This blog would never be the same without it, period.

And counted me on the side of those who disagree with the negative reference made to Sonny Belfast. Sonny is part of this great blog even though he is at fault for being a fan of the Kings. So what he is an ex-pat, so what about the choice where he chose to live. As the matter of fact, Chiang Mai Thailand is a wonderful place to live. I know it for fact since I was born in Thailand. To compare him with the "house dog" is just plain wrong and disrespectful. But again, its just my opinion. As a true fan of the Lakers, we should welcome contributions from the true knowledgeable fans of the rival teams such as Sonny, DBDH, 131-92 and Red's Love Child to name a few. I often disagree with the assessments of the Lakers but I have not seen them made it personal to anyone who opposed their views.

I'm kinda thinking that management is looking more toward an exchange of Drew for Dwight in the mid-next season. I'm sure they think he would like to come to LA and would be a more valuable addition than Melo (nothing against Melo).

Even with All-Star Weekend and the game in Staples Center the league couldn't scrounge up a single Laker to participate in either the 3 point shootout, the skills competition or the dunk contest.

What that says is that the Lakers have no shooters, dunkers or skills

@D(erek) Dwight for Bynum? you gotta be kidding; why not trade Shannon Brown for D Wade while your at it

Art, actually to be compared to a family dog is really no offense especially if it was said in a group of friends in jovial mood. Unfortunately, in this blog we don't see the body language and how it will be interpreted by SonnyB. Like for example in your case, you wanted to referred as Walrus so if you refer someone a dog, it is a compliment. It is the way it was written, it was followed by an air of superiority - "Wake up, you idiots, he’s a freaking troll."

I was really surprised by this knee jerk reaction of LT. These two guys are friends because they have a lot of things in common being both lived in N. Ca, my assumption that LT is just joking and he will come as a man to apologize. If you go back to the blog archive, I was the first enemy of Sonny Belfast, he called us "brokeback" and I referred to him as a gangsta, followed by sharp exchanges, that's how we met in the blog.

People are tired of this topic so it's blah, blah, blah. They want to hear the good tidings about the Lakers which we could not provide. I wish MM will put up another blog that will deal only with positivism separate from this blog.

Edwin:

By trying to be sensitive to the issue and not offending to anyone and what I've got from you is being call an idiot? I wouldn't ever call you name even though I disagree with your post. That's call being respectful.To you, being called a family dog might not be such a bad thing, nevertheless, it's still disrespectful. Even troll like SBF deserves a chance to voice his opinion on this blog. I'm not try to make a big issue about LT's comments but do realize that you're trying to protect your friend but you guys are missing the point here. I don't like trolls just as much as you but I will NEVER EVER disrespect them openly. Assume you're right that some of us need to wake up, then I would suggested that some of us on the other side of the podium need to grow up as well.

Peace Bro!

Mark Medina,

Why wasn't Kobe at Jerry West's statue unveiling?

Jerry West has done so much for Kobe.

It seemed kind of disrespectful to me... and, yes, I was at the unveiling.

It was awesome, but Kobe's absence just seemed off.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

dkwsfo,

The Sasha trade was a bad trade.

Maybe good for Sasha, but not good for the Lakers... this year.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Answering to EJK when he said :
The East's starting lineup looks incredibly well-suited for the open style of the All-Star game. There's some crazy athleticism and speed on that squad. Skill guys like Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol are great for the real games, but not so much for these exhibition style games.

I'd like to see Blake Griffin and D-Howard, two potentially future Lakers, match up in the game. Who'd you rather have? I think I'd go with Howard because of his size.

Posted by: EJK | February 20, 2011 at 04:15 PM

Athletism and strength are something everybody can get with hard work in the gym and a good diet (specially NBA players who can do it in a pro way) but skill... man... u cant train the skill... skill is something u need to born with, u need to be really special to have that. So i dissagree with you, i dont like to see only physical players. And to be sincere i think the West team played much better with Pau and Dirk, than with the starting team, (thats why they played so many minutes)


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