Pau Gasol said that thinking about retirement is something “undoubtedly inevitable.” While the Spanish great has been working towards a potential comeback, with the focus of playing at least one more season. “With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement,” Gasol said in an interview with El Pais. “Also taking into account that I will be 40 years old in a few months. So it’s definitely in my mind.”
“It’s something that will come one time, sooner or later. We hope that time hasn’t come yet. But I also take the opportunity to focus on the Gasol Foundation and other off-court projects. And also think of what my next professional stage may be, my next challenges. All this while I’m still recovering, trying to give myself a chance to keep playing. Now, the priority is to overcome this pandemic among all. Everything else is completely secondary.”
Gasol admitted that there are retirement thoughts circling in his mind. After all, he becomes 40 years old in July. “It’s a possibility that there is there too. I’ll have 40 springs this summer, which is not a small number. I understand that sooner or later, whether this summer, next season or another, my retirement is inevitable. I hope not already,” Gasol added. “I hope that the foot recovers so that it can allow me to play a little more. We will see how much more. Enjoy one last season.”
“I did a treatment at the end of December to improve my chances of recovery,” Gasol said to EFE, per AS. “And now the rehabilitation is going slowly, without the rush and pressure of being on a team. I give it more time and take care of it. I hope everything goes well and I can recover soon.”
Kerry Eggers: Terry Stotts says @Pau Gasol will return to PDX next week after rehabbing his foot in Spain. Will he join Blazers coaching staff? “Depends on his rehab. He’s having some procedures done & that’s taking up his time right now.” Does he still intend to play? “You’ll have to ask him."
39-year-old Pau Gasol has not yet finished his career and was in Porto for another diagnosis. “It’s been an intense few days of travel and medical appointments to gather opinions to make the best decision for my recovery.”, he posted on Instagram.
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."
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."
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”
January 22, 2021 | 9:39 pm EST Update
January 22, 2021 | 8:53 pm EST Update
Michael Singer: Michael Malone on if coaching Jokic adds pressure: “I look at it as a blessing. How many guys have the opp. to coach a great player, a high character person, on & off the court, a guy that every day when he comes to the facility, is in a good mood. There’s not many superstars.”