Thursday, December 2, 2021

Former Lakers Big Man signs unique deal with overseas team

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Former Los Angeles Lakers Big Man Marc Gasol was unwilling to end his basketball career and has joined the Spanish league team Basquet Girona.

The move was officially announced on Thursday and 36-year-old Gasol will become player president for the squad he owns and founded. Girona competes in Spain’s second division.

Gasol retired from the Spanish national team in August and his NBA run ended after being sent to the Grizzlies in a deal with the Lakers and later abandoned. He has carefully considered his next step and should also be “in talks” with Barcelona.

“There are talks but no negotiations, even though he didn’t give a negative answer,” said Barcelona coach Juan Carlos Navarro. “He knows about our interests and he has the last word. I will not deny that I want to count on him. “

However, Gasol chose his own squad and will bring an additional star power night in one night. Girona are currently 2-7 after losing seven in a row after winning the first two.

Last season, Gasol averaged just over 19 minutes per game, starting 42 of the 52 games he played. However, his role on the team got very complicated when Andre Drummond was signed.

Team Drummond reportedly made a promise that if he signed after a buyout he would start, so Gasol went from starter to bottom on many evenings. That almost resulted in him filing for a takeover in order to be successful elsewhere. While he was saying the right things to the media, the situation reportedly resulted in a toxic relationship between Gasol and the Lakers, per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

While his brother Pau will go down as a Lakers legend, Marc’s stay in LA will be but a blimp on his extensive résumé. Gasol won a title with the Raptors in 2019 and was a three-time All-Star. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

The Lakers liked what Gasol brought to the table with his ability to stretch the floor and play the ball. However, this offseason the team went in a new direction, getting traditional greats DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard to keep the focus.

All-Star Anthony Davis is also seeing some time in the middle on a smaller line-up, although the Lakers have been beaten up early this season, which limits their line-up creativity.

“We’re trying to figure out which line-up is best for us,” LeBron James said this week. “Of course we started spicing things up with DJ and AD and me with the Three, Four, Fivs, and recently we’ve gotten smaller with AD with the Five. So let’s try to figure out how to get enough minutes to see what the best lineups are for us. And how we want to see each other play. “

The Lakers are 10-10 so far this season trying to build some chemistry as the squad gets closer to the healthy.

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