Basketball legend Pau Gasol was offered formally as a member of FC Barcelona on Thursday in a press convention held at middle courtroom in Palau Blaugrana to mark the participant’s return to the membership he grew up in and has rejoined 20 years later.
Gasol made it clear that one purpose for returning to Barcelona was to win the Turkish Airways EuroLeague, the one main membership title that he doesn’t already personal. The 40-year-old middle was signed by Barcelona on February 23, forward of the EuroLeague deadline for roster modifications, and has been registered to play within the competitors for the rest of the season.
“We have now a tough concept when I’ll come again if all the pieces goes the best way issues are going now.”
“I’m joyful to contribute to this already wonderful crew. They’re in an incredible second, I get pleasure from watching them play and compete,” Gasol mentioned in his opening assertion. “One in all my aspirations is that I hope I might help win the EuroLeague, which is the title I’ve not received but.”
Gasol was joined on the presentation by membership president Joan Laporta, head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, fellow crew legend Juan Carlos Navarro, teammates Pierre Oriola, Nikola Mirotic and Adam Hanga, and his household, amongst others.
“Checking the lengthy checklist, there’s just one title lacking in your roll of honors. And I feel all of us right here know which one it’s,” Laporta mentioned. “I’m positive that you’ll proceed to put in writing historical past and I’m positive you’ll obtain the targets you have got set.”
Having arrived in Barcelona on March 3, Gasol has been coaching, at first individually, whereas he awaits his debut within the No. 16 jersey he final wore within the 2000-01 season.
“No person provides away the titles, it’s important to win them.”
“I’m grateful for the expectations,” Gasol mentioned. “We have now a tough concept when I’ll come again if all the pieces goes the best way issues are going now, however we don’t need to set it in stone a specific date or recreation. Yesterday, it was a superb follow, demanding. Right now there’s one other one, so we’ll see how the week goes to place a date to my return, one which makes essentially the most sense. We’re all looking forward to that date to come back; I hope it’s quickly.”
Gasol has not performed in two years since struggling a long-term leg foot harm, however he made it clear in answering questions from the media after his presentation that he didn’t need to see his profession finish that manner.
“My self-discipline and can to play once more pushed me to be right here,” he mentioned. “It has been arduous, however I additionally knew for sure that no matter occurred, I had a privileged profession. Greater than privileged and lucky. I wished to place the cherry on prime and finish my profession having enjoyable and competing.”
Gasol mentioned he hopes so as to add his championship expertise to a Barca crew that’s having its greatest EuroLeague season in a very long time, main the standings in the meanwhile with a 22-9 report as the one crew that has already clinched a playoff berth. With a victory on Friday at dwelling towards ALBA Berlin, Barca may assure itself home-court benefit within the playoffs.
“My competitiveness is all the time there, extra now than ever.”
“If you end up in a membership like Barca, you’re all the time anticipated to win and really feel the stress,” Gasol mentioned. “I feel it is a good factor as a result of it is the stress of the highest groups. Nonetheless, no person provides away the titles, it’s important to win them. There are different nice groups that need to win, too. It’s important to be there in the very best second. I’m right here to contribute what I can, and that might be for the coaches to determine. And from there I’ll attempt to do my job in the very best manner.
“My ambition remains to be there, my competitiveness is all the time there, extra now than ever,” Gasol concluded. “I am excited for this new, ultimate stretch of my profession and I will give it my all.”