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Pau Gasol speaks: 'It's just not been easy mentally and emotionally'

December 10, 2011 |  1:26 pm

Lakers forward Pau Gasol continued to play the waiting game Saturday.

Will he stay in L.A.? Will he go to Houston?

"It's just not been easy mentally and emotionally," said Gasol, speaking with reporters for the first time since the NBA blocked a trade Thursday that would have sent him to Houston and brought Chris Paul to the Lakers.

"It's a hard situation to deal with. You come in and you're excited about a new challenge, new season, new coaching staff ... and then obviously all these talks are on and it was very close to happening. If the NBA hadn't stopped it, I would be gone. I wouldn't be here today. It's tough to keep your balance. I'm happy that it hasn't happened because my heart is here, my mind is here. That's the reality."

The trade was resubmitted to the NBA on Saturday with some unspecified changes. It was not known when the league would begin looking at it for possible approval.

Lamar Odom, the other Lakers forward in the original proposal, was not at practice for a second consecutive day. He was at the Lakers' training facility briefly because he needed to take his annual physical.

Gasol took part in practice, scrimmaging on the first team with Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton.

He spoke for a few minutes with reporters and then ducked into the Lakers' locker room.

"I was looking forward to the opportunity of winning another [championship], making another run," Gasol said before he left, not knowing what the immediate future held.


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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times