By Antonis Stroggylakis/ [email protected]
The 2021 Olympic Games may not be Pau Gasol’s last dance on basketball floors.
In an interview with El Pais, Gasol mentioned that he hasn’t yet definitively made up his mind on whether he will continue playing basketball after the Olympics. It will be something he’ll contemplate after the tournament in Tokyo is completed.
“I don’t think about next season. Not that I rule out anything,” Gasol said. “But I’ll weigh it up. I have my family in mind. There’s a time when you should know when to turn the page and dedicate yourself to other things. During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to connect with many interesting people and they have given me an idea of what path I can take in the future. But I want to be cautious. I don’t want to make a hasty decision or try to do many things and ‘bit more than I can chew’.”
“We will see how will the Olympics go,” Gasol answered when asked what he’ll do next season. “Hopefully the body responds as well as [it did] during these months with Barca. The most important factor is the family and the staff. This job requires being away from family for a long time.”
Gasol admitted that making such a huge effort to rehabilitate his foot and return to a competitive level instead of just retiring, was something based more on emotion than logic.
“The most prudent and intelligent thing would have been to say: ‘We have come this far. Let’s celebrate it and be proud of what has been done’. But I have never been one to compromise,” Gasol said. “I have always tried to strive to do exceptional things. Being able to come back here and play at the level that I have done and win another title with Barca has been worth it. It is exceptional, something by which I like to define myself and by which I like to be defined.”
In April, Gasol played his first game in two years when he made his season debut with Barcelona following his return to the team after two decades. Despite his age and being away from action for so long, he went on to make such a remarkable progress that he ended up setting some new all-time Spanish ACB League records when the playoffs arrived. After reaching the EuroLeague final with the Blaugrana, he helped the team win the ACB championship after 2014.
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