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Gasol: "I want to continue achieving things”

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04.10.2010 17:45

Gasol: "I want to continue achieving things”

Aleix Santacana

Pau Gasol returns home on Tuesday evening as he takes on Barça Regal with his Los Angeles Lakers team at the Palau Sant Jordi in what should be a great game.

The Sant Boi-born star is back in Catalunya and took time out to speak to about his time in the NBA and his thoughts on the Blaugrana.

You arrive to take on Barça having won two titles with the LA Lakers. How do you feel?
pau_gasol.jpg"Really great. It is a dream and, if I look back to a few years ago, appears to be incredible that it is real. You have to work very hard in the league and to win the championship is the best reward."

When you left nine years ago some thought that you were crossing the Atlantic too soon.
"I have always been a person with a lot of confidence. For sure, that when I left it all happened very quickly and was not easy, but thanks to the help of my family and the support of my friends I have done great things."

Evidently the way it turned out has meant you were right
The truth is that when I look back I am pleased how things turned out so well. Now I just hope that it all continues to go as well for the rest of my career."

Was it difficult to adapt to the NBA? As a sport, as a brand and the pressure to perform.
"It was difficult. Everything together are all so different like some of the rules, the dynamics, the style of play, the quantity, such little training, etc. The foreign players have to work harder. The period of adaption can be long. Also, we have to learn a new language."

Now you have won almost everything what are your impressions?
2010-08-17_ENTRENAMIENTO_PAU_GASOL_017.JPG"All I am thinking about is the start of the forthcoming season. We are really confident that we can go on and win another ring. There will be a lot of work involved, but we are willing to whatever is necessary."

You seem motivated to win even more.
"Yes, always. I am like that. You either have that inside you or not. It is not something that you can switch on or off. I have it inside me and I want to continue achieving things."

What does Barça mean to you?
"They are the club that helped me to reach the elite and where I spent some great year. They make the dreams of thousands of fans come true. Although the motto maybe used too often, I really do believe that it is more than a club."

Have you heard Barça talked about in los Angeles?
2010-08-17_ENTRENAMIENTO_PAU_GASOL_003.JPG"Yes, above all because of the success of the football team in recent seasons. It is a city and a club that is known everywhere."

What did you think of Barça last season?
"They were incredible. They played a lot of great games in Euroleague and in the Liga ACB they were spectacular. It is a shame that they could not win the league. I am convinced that they will do so this year though."

What do you like most about them?
"That they are a team. In attack they always have someone who can shoot and find the basket while at the back they have a great team."

What do you think ahead of their new season?
"I believe that they have an excellent squad and that is great news. That is the best thing and evidently every player has real quality. I hope that they win the treble."

A return to Europe is always a possibility?
"It is always possible because you never know what will happen. When I finish my career over there I do not know what I will do."
Gasol: “I want to continue achieving things”

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Supporting role
Barça and UNICEF work together. What made you decide to work with them too?
"When I see children suffering and living in such bad circumstances I found it unacceptable. UNICEF game me the chance to help a long time ago, and this year I have started my own project."

What have you achieved in Ethiopia?
"We have helped to set up, build, develop and educate. If do each of these things little-by-little in these different areas then we can say it has been a great success. We want to help build schools in certain areas in Ethiopia to bring education and help the children grow. There is a part of the project about nutrition as that is the first cause of infant mortality in the country.”

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