A week after playing a critical role in L.A.’s second straight championship, Pau Gasol sat down for his exit interview at the team’s practice facility and detailed why he was going to take the summer off from basketball.
He explained that he had played “as much basketball as I could play” across the previous three years, splitting duty between the Lakers and his Spanish National Team.
“My body needs to relax and recover to be able to be fresh and continue to play at the level that I’m playing,” he said. “Otherwise my body is going to break down quicker and I’m going to be a worse player.”
Indeed, Gasol skipped the 2010 World Championships and watched his Spanish side finish sixth, four years after he led them to the 2006 title. He was there in Turkey to support his team and his brother, Marc, and also did a bit of broadcasting (pictured above).
But the 7-footer has no regrets about his decision not to play, as he told the Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding on Tuesday.
“I did it for a reason, and no regrets,” Gasol said. “I made my decision. I’ve been able to recharge the batteries.”
Gasol also told Ding that he feels “real good” and “refreshed,” and is “just excited about beginning a new season, picking up and taking on new challenges.”