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Pau Gasol trade uncertainty provides many life lessons

Another day Pau Gasol remains on the Lakers' roster in limbo. Another day where the public can learn and appreciate a life lesson applicable everywhere.

That is, how to truly carve your own path toward happiness.

It includes surrounding yourself with an unflinching support system. For Gasol, that's entailed having unnamed friends and brother, Marc, hang out for the past two days as he awaits whether he'll truly remain on the Lakers' roster.

It includes still feeling happy for other's blessings despite your own circumstances. Gasol smiled with glee when he was asked about the Memphis Grizzlies re-signing, Marc, to a four-year, $58 million deal, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Even though Pau's playing future feels far from certain, his smile appeared filled with joy simply for Marc landing that "first big contract."

It includes taking pleasure in some of life's trivialities that break up the day's monotony. Gasol ended Tuesday's practice making eight consecutive three-pointers. He then boasted about becoming more of an outside shooter. He then laughed about former Coach Phil Jackson drawing up a final play in a regular-season game in the 2009-10 season against Portland where Gasol took and missed the potential game-winning trey.

It includes knowing that changed uniforms or fickle organzational loyalty don't define a man's worth.

"Whatever is going to happen, you're going to be fine," Gasol said what friends have told him the past few days. "You're a hell of a player. You had an amazing career so far and you will have one no matter where you're going to play. That's what you can control."

Granted, it's easy to juxtapose this reaction to how Lamar Odom handled the news that the Lakers tried trading him in a deal that would've landed New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul. But it's misleading to argue Odom doesn't understand these life lessons.

If there's anything Odom has taught us in his seven-year career with the Lakers, it's that people can overcome tumultuous events the same way he has. Odom has maintained happiness through his mother's death from colon cancer at age 12, his grandmother's death at age 25 and his 7-month son dying from suddan-infant death syndrome. Odom's want to carve out his own career path by landing on a contending team also mirrors to some degree how Gasol asked for the Memphis Grizzlies to trade for his last two years before being shipped to the Lakers in 2008.

But there's one key difference. Odom thought an organization, such as the Lakers, should profess loyalty, or at least enough humanity to alert him ahead of time about a trade. Gasol understands an organization hardly, if ever, runs the same way a network of friends do.

Both are right to some degree. But Gasol's continued resilience shows he's seeing his possible end with the Lakers filled with many blessings rather than a tumultuous breakup.

"That's nothing money can buy," Gasol said regarding his two championships rings and his strong friendships. "I'll take that with me for the rest of my life."

RELATED:

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom must channel frustration properly

Pau Gasol handles trade speculation differently than Lamar Odom

Pau Gasol insists trade speculation doesn't affect him

--Mark Medina

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

 
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