But while it’s unclear when he will play his first game with the Blazers, he’s more concerned with being ready for April and May than October and November. “I try not to think about how much time I’m going to miss,” Gasol said. “I’m not going to be able to play with the team early on. I’m trying to make sure that when I do get back, I’m there for good. And the ankle and the foot are not giving me any issues … and (I’m) able to build once I step on the floor with the team.”
And while Gasol joked that “being 39” hasn’t helped the healing process, his experience also has offered perspective. “You just have to stay patient, stay the course, and in the meantime, stay engaged, be helpful and contribute in any way you can,” Gasol said. “It’s a little bit challenging. But as with every challenge that I’ve faced in my life and my career, you have to embrace it and overcome it.”
These days, it is not uncommon to hear Bazemore speak freely about his mindset. He has become rejuvenated in Portland, both spiritually and professionally, so he often finds himself reflecting on his journey. Like his pursuit of that cloud, it was almost as if this journey called to him. Not long ago, he was in Atlanta, unhappily playing for the Hawks, stuck in what he calls “a dark place.” He was frustrated at work, was becoming disconnected from his family and he was bottling everything inside. Amid that turmoil, there was a voice, luring him like that cloud. It was his voice.