Pau Gasol Relieved Paul Trade Rejected
Had NBA Commissioner David Stern not interfered in a three-team trade, the Lakers-Rockets game Tuesday would have featured (Pau) Gasol in different circumstances. He would play at center instead of power forward. He would wear a red uniform instead of a gold one. He would match up against his former teammate Andrew Bynum instead of forward Luis Scola.
That’s partly why Gasol remained relieved Stern rejected a trade that would have sent him to Houston, Chris Paul to the Lakers and Scola, Lamar Odom and Kevin Martin to the New Orleans Hornets. After winning two NBA championships and appearing in three consecutive Finals, the last thing Gasol wanted was to join a mid-tier team.
“It was going to be kind of a rebuilding situation,” Gasol said. “You’d try to be competitive. It wasn’t so much about the franchise or the city. It was just about the situation and how different it would’ve been than from what I’m used to now. That would’ve been very hard for me to adjust to, but if it happened and had gone down, I still would’ve done my best to do what I do and be the player I am and continue to play my best.”