by Marcel Mutoni

Mostly thanks to the active imagination of Chicago Tribune columnist Sam Smith, Pau Gasol’s name continues to appear in the rumor pages on a regular basis. Having been in the League for a minute, though, the Spaniard is getting used to the media game and he’s not letting it affect him.

Even more importantly, Gasol sounds like he’s happy in Memphis (which, of course, hasn’t always been the case):

“You get used to it,” Gasol said. “If you’re in this league and you’re any good, you’re involved in rumors. Last year, it was more because of the situation (when Gasol asked to be traded). But 90 percent of the time nothing happens. I would be surprised (if the Griz made a deal) because trades are so hard to happen. I’m talking from personal experience from last year.”

“I’m good here,” Gasol said. “We’re a good, young team. Sure, it could be better, but that’s what we’re working on, and when we win games it will be better.”

After reading the above quotes, I pictured Sam Smith sitting in a dark corner somewhere, solemnly whispering the following words to Gasol: “I had such f—in’ hopes for us.”