The Los Angeles Lakers are said to be considering shutting down big man Pau Gasol for the brief remainder of the season (7 games), as his severe bout with vertigo ceases to end. If Gasol doesn’t suit up again this year, Laker fans may have seen him play for the last time in Purple and Gold. Per the LA Times:
He won’t play Friday against Dallas after dizziness kept him confined at the team hotel Wednesday while the Lakers played Sacramento. He flew back on the team charter that night after missing a fifth game because of the illness.
It was the latest downturn in a rough season for Gasol.
In addition to various verbal tussles with Coach Mike D’Antoni about his role in the offense — and the small-ball concept in general — Gasol missed seven games in February because of a strained groin and three games in December because of a respiratory infection.
He leads the team in scoring (17.4 points a game) but is shooting only 48%, the second lowest accuracy of his career.
Gasol, 33, becomes a free agent after this season, sure to take a pay cut from the $19.3 million he currently makes but unsure where he will land. If it’s somewhere else, his last game with the Lakers will have been a nine-point, four-rebound effort in a 124-112 loss Tuesday to Portland.
He experienced lingering effects of his illness while making turns on the court that night and theorized he came back too soon. But he jumped on a charter flight with the team, went to Sacramento and appeared to have improved at the team’s Wednesday morning meeting.
Gasol ran into trouble while doing his doctor-prescribed exercises that afternoon.
He had been directed to rotate his head several times one way, then several times the other way while standing, a deliberate attempt to make himself slightly dizzy. The recovery time from the exercise had been getting shorter every day for Gasol.
But on Wednesday, he did his head rotations and ended up laid out on the floor. He never made it to the arena.
Life reminds us how fragile & vulnerable we are on different occasions. Health is the most important thing. I hope I recover soon my friends
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) April 3, 2014