Veteran center Marc Gasol was viewed as a great addition for either of the Los Angeles teams, but he chose the defending champions.
There was a lot of speculation as to why, given that he probably would’ve seen more minutes playing for the Clippers, but the allure of playing alongside LeBron James is strong. Not only that, Marc’s brother, Pau, was a longtime Laker, so he knows how the world-class organization operates.
Gasol figures to be the perfect candidate to fill the void left by Dwight Howard, as he’s an excellent defender, and is also a locker-room leader. Howard, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. On paper, it appears to be an upgrade for the Lakers, and Gasol recently explained why he chose to sign a two-year deal with them.
“I thought my run in Toronto could not get better, and we’d always be chasing the ring,” he said, via the Los Angeles Times. “And I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to be the player that they needed to me be there in order to win it,” Gasol admitted. “So I thought that the right thing to do for me was to join the Lakers and contribute to what they got going on.”
“I try to get places before I jump in the air because my time that I’m going to stay in the air is not very long,” Gasol said. “But I try to use my instincts and my knowledge of the game, the way I study it, to get there before the offense gets there. I use a lot of communication as a center. You’re behind them. I think communication builds trust and it solves problems. I know we’re going to have great communication. We’re all going to be on the same page because at the end of the day, you need defense to win games.”
At 35 years of age, it’s fair to assume that Los Angeles may be the final landing spot on Gasol’s career path, so he likely put a lot of thought into this important decision.