Pau Gasol, center and power forward for the San Antonio Spurs, is not as worried about making the all-star game as he is with winning. Knowing his role would decrease while playing with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, Gasol came to San Antonio for one reason. He’s looking to earn his third NBA championship.
“It’s not about me having the best individual year, or having individual awards,” Gasol said, explaining why the All-Star Game is not a priority. “It’s just team success.”
Gasol may be in the midst of the worst season of his career statistically, but the Spurs are playing about just as well as any team the Spaniard has played with throughout his career. Gasol is averaging a career-worst 11.9 points along with 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. However, the Spurs hold a record of 30-8 and are only 2.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
When the first all-star voting announcement came out, Gasol was not even in the top-10 vote receivers for forwards in the Western Conference. Marc Gasol, Pau’s brother on the Memphis Grizzlies, is currently holding the 10th spot for Western Conference forwards.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 9, 2017
Pau may not be having the year of an all-star caliber player, but he is in a good situation and has done the best job he can to fill his role in San Antonio. Gasol’s time of being a 20 points per game scorer may be over, but he still has a lot left to give to the game.
Gregg Popovich has been so successful in his time as a coach due to his ability to turn stars like Gasol into players who are willing to accept smaller roles in exchange for what’s best for the team. His ability to do this has led to him winning 5 rings with the Spurs since becoming the head coach of the team in 1996.
Gasol is doing exactly what the Spurs need him to, and because of that, he will have the opportunity to compete for another NBA championship. After spending two years with the Chicago Bulls, Gasol is finally back in the right situation for him.