Is it because as a young man the coaches prompted you to work and now that you have grown older you understand them more? Pau Gasol: “The truth is yes, [laughs]. It could be. All I try is to be useful and contribute, and have a positive impact on the team. The rest is an anecdote.” I could see you more as a coach. Pau Gasol: “I would like to have a general life change and more flexibility to dedicate myself to several different things because a coach’s job is the player’s life, but with more dedication, with less free time and spending more hours. That would allow me to do less. I have many concerns and I want to have time.”
You're beginning your 19th season in the NBA. You never know if it will be the last one, but you'll turn 40 in 2020. For the first time, your future seems somewhat uncertain. Do you have more doubts than other times? Will it be your last year? Pau Gasol: "I am not worried about the future. I understand that my career is about to end. It is something that I have been assimilating these years. I am sure that my career as a basketball player will end in a little while. It won't be much more, as much as I love playing. There is uncertainty about what will happen after, but I have been training to have different options, objectives and responsibilities. Activity will never be missing. I would like to have space to work with an organisation, a team or an organisation within the sport. I will also look for flexibility to be with my family. For now, I want to continue enjoying this stage as a player, although I know that the chapter, or the book, will end. Then another chapter will begin and we will continue writing good pages."
All that said, Gasol’s future with the Spurs beyond this season is a mystery. But no matter the outcome of his time in San Antonio, Gasol is not considering retirement. He still believes there is more basketball to be played and plans to do so until he feels ready to step away. “In two summers, I might think about it a little more,” Gasol said. “It might be an option then, maybe. And maybe not because I love what I do. I work my ass off to do what I do at this stage, to keep up with the pace of the game and the progress and the development of the game today. I take pride in that. That’s what makes me who I am.”
Pau Gasol: "I'm not thinking about retirement yet, although I know that it will happen sooner than later."
The Spanish big man recently touched on his playing career, as well as re-signing with the San Antonio Spurs, where he made it clear, he is looking to play as many seasons he can in the NBA. "I want to play the maximum number of seasons, as long as I feel good. I have played 16-years in the NBA and I hope to play some more, but I have to keep working and respect any injuries, as I have so far."
As for re-signing with the Spurs after opting out of his deal, Pau says both sides are looking forward to getting a deal done and is hoping to reach an agreement soon. Pau also spoke on the West getting stronger this offseason, saying the Spurs are still one of the best in the West. "All the teams in the West, especially the top teams, are getting much stronger to compete and try to beat the first level of teams, like the Spurs."
And the biggest question for him is this is his last tournament with the national team. It seems that he has not decided yet if he will retire or not: “I always think it’s going to be my last year, both in the national team and in my NBA team. I love this sport and I love to continue playing at the highest level. The older I become the more complicated it will be for me to be back but I still play at a good level. I would be 40 years old in the next Olympic Games and I’ve been already many games for many years. During next season I’ll assess how I feel and if I will play with the national team or not. Things can change pretty quick”