After his Western Conference team’s narrow 141-139 loss to the Eastern Conference in the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas, Lakers forward Pau Gasol – who scored 13 points with six rebounds – joined respective media members for a Q&A session:
Q: On accomplishing his dual goals of having fun and staying healthy:
Gasol: We accomplished both goals. It was fun game, an unbelievable crowd, incredible stadium. Definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. I was tearing up. I couldn’t believe how many people came to the game and supported us and enjoyed the game. Really, really pleased that I had a chance to experience this. I look forward to continue to be apart of other All-Star weekends.
Q: On always playing to win:
Gasol: Sometimes I think about it, but it’s hard to get loose out there. You try not to make mistakes, even though it’s a game (where) you have to try and put on a good show. My goal is always to try and help the team win.
Q: On the crowd:
Gasol: It looked like a lot, a lot of people. It’s hard to get a feel for how many were there. We thought there were going to be 90,000-plus, but we didn’t know there were going to be over 100,000. It was great to feel the love.
Q: On playing 20 minutes and 18 seconds:
Gasol: You can always play more, you can always play less. I’m thankful that the coach put me out there for as long as he put me out there.
Q: On shooting in a different type of stadium:
Gasol: It’s a different feeling, but once you get over that … because the dimensions are so different and the crowd is so far away and the building is humongous, you get used to it and it’s still just basketball.
Q: On Kobe Bryant looking a bit antsy on the sideline:
Gasol: I’m sure he would have loved to have been apart of the game. He would have enjoyed it. I’m sorry that he missed it, especially in close games. I (thought), oh I hope it doesn’t get too close, because he loves those kinds of shots in those kinds of situations … You always miss one of the best players in the world.
Q: On the potential of playing the All-Star game in a European city one day:
Gasol: I’m sure there are a lot of (good venues). Obviously, personally I would love for it to be in Barcelona, so (the people) would get to enjoy this kind of environment and this party of basketball. Anywhere would be interesting, but it’s hard to do it in the middle of the season.
Q: On the whole weekend:
Gasol: There was a lot going on, a lot of media availability, a lot of commitments and appearances. They keep us pretty busy, but at the same time, it’s fun to be apart of it. I think it’s a great honor to be named an All-Star, and it’s a party of basketball. It’s a good break from the daily routine that we go through, and now it’s over and we have to get back to work.
Q: On L.A.’s momentum heading into the post-break stretch:
Gasol: The momentum is there. We finished with a nice three-game swing and we were playing really well. Now we want to continue to play well and build on it. We’re ready for those 28 regular season games that we have left, and then getting back a playoff mindset.
Q: On the stadium:
Gasol: Unbelievable, incredible. I’ve never been to a football stadium before, I’ve been to a couple of soccer stadiums. But never like this, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.