Pau Gasol isn't considering playing competitively overseas yet
This is the fifth post in an occasional series of Q&As with Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who has been practicing with FC Barcelona during the NBA lockout. Below is his email exchange with The Times.
How has practice gone with FC Barcelona?
It's been good. FC Barcelona is one of the top teams in the world besides the NBA and I'm thankful for the chance to be able to practice with them. Plus it's special because it brought back a lot of memories from when I played with them back in the day.
What areas of your game are you focusing on in practice?
Right now I'm sharpening up my post game and staying physically ready for the time that we are all waiting for.
You obviously have history with FC Barcelona, but how did the idea of practicing with them come up. What was it that appealed to you?
It's the team where I played for a long time and the city that I was born and I grew up in, so by mutual interest we made it work. It's still strange to be practicing with a team but not playing the games.
With the NBA lockout still persisting, do you have any plans to play for a team competitively overseas?
No. I have not even considered the option yet. I still think there will be a season. The possibility would only be considered if the NBA season is cancelled. I am hopeful that we will have a season and I wouldn't consider playing with any other team than the Lakers unless we don't get to play this season. I do not consider that option as soon as there's the possibility of an NBA season. I am a Lakers player and I will only play for my team, the Lakers.
What's your overall outlook on when the NBA lockout would end?
Well, it seems like everybody has a lot of interest on the season starting soon so my guess is that it will start in some weeks.
If Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher organized offseason workouts/practices for the team during the lockout, would you be open to returning to Los Angeles to join them?
Why not, that would be a good opportunity to play and practice with a lot of NBA players and it would be very interesting.
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Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press / February 10, 2011