Pau Gasol back to the Lakers? Brother Marc can’t answer
Marc Gasol hasn’t even met his 3-month-old niece, so no, he doesn’t have a current update of how his brother, future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol, is doing in his rehabilitation.
“Hopefully I get to see my niece soon and get to meet her. The situation that we’re in now, everything is pretty limited,” the younger Gasol said Thursday. “So, it is what it is. I haven’t seen Pau in a while, but it’s going to be OK. I haven’t seen him on the court. He’s been rehabbing the whole time. I know he’s very dedicated to it. It means a lot to him to get this right. But it’s not the end of the world if that’s not the case.”
Pau opened the door to return to the Lakers on Wednesday in a conversation with ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
“There is meaning and history there. I’m not going to lie. It would be very special, and now that my brother [Marc] is there, even more special,” Gasol told Lowe. “But I’m not in a position now to be very demanding.”
The elder Gasol hasn’t played an NBA game since March 10, 2019. He turned 40 in July and has had multiple foot surgeries. He played seven seasons for the Lakers, winning championships in 2009 and 2010.
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Marc Gasol, who signed with the Lakers last month, didn’t say whether he’s talked about playing with his brother. The two players were traded for one another in 2008.
“I think it’s up to his health, first and foremost,” Marc Gasol said. “Pau has to be healthy and has to continue to stay healthy throughout the process of rehabbing. Building that endurance and building on that continuous impact on his foot, on his bone is going to be crucial. And the only way you know that is through playing.
“So, I think he has to find a way to play a little bit, to see how his body reacts to that and I think that should be the main focus right now, instead of where he is going to play. More important is his health and how he feels and how his body reacts to the workload.
Stars to sit Friday
Basketball is going to look different Friday night at Staples Center for the Lakers’ preseason opener. There will be no fans in the crowd, coaches will be wearing masks and LeBron James and Anthony Davis won’t be on the court.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel confirmed that his two stars wouldn’t play against the Clippers. It’s unknown who else the Lakers won’t have, though reserve wing Alfonzo McKinnie is still absent from practices for “excused” reasons.
In a preseason game with no real meaning, Vogel will be looking for other ways to define success.
Anthony Davis wants “to be smart about” the Lakers’ preparations for the 72-game NBA regular season. Coach Frank Vogel agrees.
“For me, it’s really just about our guys getting some opportunities to grow their conditioning, to get used to the game environment of no fans in the building in an arena,” he said. “And for our guys to get their feet wet in terms of the habits we’re trying to build in training camp. It isn’t really about winning and losing especially this early in the preseason, it’s about getting everybody the right opportunities. Enough work but not too much work.
“And that’s what’s going to be a successful game for me.”
Guard Quinn Cook debuted at practice after re-signing with the team following his release.
“It was one of the best days ever, man, just to be back with my guys, to be back, to have an official practice here in the facility,” Cook said. “It was my first practice here since before we played Brooklyn, before obviously the pandemic. It was just a great feeling to be back. And [it] felt like I hadn’t seen my guys in so long, even though we’ve been talking every day. So to put this jersey back on, to be back with this staff, organization, man, is a beautiful feeling.”
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