Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Pau Gasol.
Gasol joined Andrew Siciliano on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles to discuss getting away from basketball for several months, traveling the world, playing without Andrew Bynum for the first month of the season, if he thinks Bynum should have opted for surgery earlier and his friendship with fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
On where he didn't go in the off-season:
I didn't go to Australia. I didn't go to South America. But I went to a lot of places. I went to India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia. I went to Turkey. I went to Greece. Obviously Spain, I went to a few places there. I went to Washington D.C for a couple days. I try to travel quite a bit, but at the same time, I tried to get away from basketball… I like to be an ambassador. I don't know if I would go that far. But I'm comfortable bringing my values wherever I go.
On if he was able to rest with so much travel:
I got rest as far as not being on a basketball court and not competing. That was good mentally and physically. At the same time, I did not have a whole lot of time to relax completely. That was my decision, but it helped me a lot as far as approaching a new season not having to worry about basketball.
On the extra burden on him with Andrew Bynum out:
Obviously, we would like him to be healthy. That's our main focus is to get him healthy. If that takes an extra month, so be it. We are not worried… Andrew more or less, I don't know if they gave him the green light. I don't know all the details. The bottom line is that the recovery time was supposed to take two months and now it's going to take three. He could have done the surgery earlier, but again, it's the offseason. He needed to take some time off, rest and obviously he didn't know it was going to take this long. It is what it is. It's not time for blaming or adding any more negativity to him as a player or as a person because he has done and gone through so much at a young age that he needs positivism. He needs embracing. At this time, we just want him to be healthy whenever that is.
And on his friendship with Rafael Nadal:
This year I got him to participate in a piece that ESPN has done on me or is doing on me still. I'm appreciative of it. I haven't had a chance to play myself with him with all the time we know each other. It's tough to keep up with his schedule.
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