Pau Gasol showed last season, despite being a well-travelled 36-year-old, the Spaniard can still deliver the goods in an ultra-competitive NBA.
Although the Chicago Bulls did not make the playoffs for the first time in seven years, nobody would attribute that failing to Gasol. The forward put up an average of 16.5 points per outing and contributed 11 boards, two blocks and 4.1 assists as well.
The older brother of Memphis Grizzlies star, Marc Gasol, has decided to sign with the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent this summer to try and add to the two NBA titles he currently owns from his time with the Lakers.
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His trip east to the Bulls should have proved more fruitful than it ultimately was. Writing on The Players Tribune, Gasol insisted there was a few factors behind the Bulls' stuttering performances during his time in the Windy City.
"The NBA gives and it takes," Gasol wrote. "With the Bulls these last two years, the league certainly took a lot from us. The injuries were really frustrating.
"I know the Bulls organization and the fans had high expectations for our team. I came to Chicago to win and it stings that we weren’t able to live up to our potential."
However, he isn't completely downtrodden about his time in Chi-Town. Watching Jimmy Butler blossom in the backcourt stands out as one of the highlights of his time at the United Center.
"I take so many positive things away from the entire experience in Chicago. I saw Jimmy Butler transform from a role player the season before I got to the team, into an All-Star in this league — and more importantly, into a leader. I hope to watch him continue to rise — and carry the team with him — for years to come."
He closed his post by explaining his decision to head to San Antonio and link up with Gregg Popovich's Spurs. With the franchise coming off the best regular-season record in its history, Gasol is an excellent addition to continue their momentum, whether Tim Duncan retires or not.
Their desire to win as perpetual contenders is mirrored by Gasol.
"Throughout my career in the NBA, my desire has always been to be an instrumental part of a team with a chance of winning the championship. That’s really important for me. Winning on the court takes precedence over anything else, and obviously this continues to be the case with my decision to join the Spurs.
"I am incredibly grateful for this tremendous opportunity and I will do my very best to contribute my experience and work ethic to help this extraordinary franchise achieve its goal.
"San Antonio, I can’t wait to get started. See you very soon."