Pau Gasol — a six-time NBA All-Star who won back-to-back championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 — is nearing a decision on whether or not he’ll continue his basketball career.
As relayed and translated by Eurohoops Thursday, the 40-year-old told the Spanish news outlet EFE in a video interview that he could make the determination within the next month.
“In the next month or month and a half, my level of exigency on the court will be very high, and there I will find out if I can compete again,” he said.
Gasol has been working toward a return to the court for more than a year after undergoing surgery on his left foot in May of 2019. This past season, he attempted to play his 19th campaign in the United States, inking a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers just two months after his surgery, but the seven-footer was ultimately deemed unfit for action and was waived in November without ever having played for the club.
According to Gasol, however, the interruption in play around the world that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic has given him more time to rehab his foot.
“This pandemic, along with all the bad that it has brought us, is giving me a little more room to rehabilitate the foot and the progression is positive.”
Although his last NBA action came with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2018-19 season, Gasol is best known for his years with the Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies. He was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2002 after a stellar debut in Memphis, and later earned his first All-Star nod in 2006.
After making the move to L.A. via trade in ’08, he cemented his status as a future Hall of Famer with the Lakers, teaming up with Kobe Bryant to lead their team to three straight NBA Finals, including the two title runs.
With nearly two decades spent with five different teams, Gasol appeared in 1,226 games, averaging 17 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per contest, per Basketball Reference.
As shared by The Inquisitr in July, Eurohoops‘ Nikos Varlas reported the Spanish national was nearing agreement on a one-year deal to wrap-up his career with La Liga ACB’s FC Barcelona. However, no such deal has been consummated as of this report. More recently, his younger brother, fellow multi-time All-Star Marc Gasol, was also rumored to be considering a return to Europe.
During his EFE interview, the elder Gasol called reports the two could reunite with Barca “fake news.”