Pau Gasol on Mike D’Antoni Quitting: Not ‘Be-All and End-All’ in Free Agency Decision

The Los Angeles Lakers want Pau Gasol back next season. The free agent big fella said for that to happen, the team would have to make “significant changes”. Head coach Mike D’Antoni’s resignation helps matters, but Gasol is still looking forward to going through the recruiting process this summer. Per Spanish publication MARCA:

“On 1st July, the process begins and until then there will be no contact with any team. There appear to be several interested parties. I will listen to them all and I will select the best option for my interests”, said Gasol.

“I am excited to be in a strong position, although once I sign for the team I pick, I will be in the hands of that team. That is what this business is like”, he added.

What is clear is what the Spaniard is asking of his next employer: “I will give priority to a team that can win games and, let’s hope, challenge for the title.”

The departure of coach Mike D’Antoni from the Los Angeles club could see Gasol remain where he is. “Mike leaving was not the be-all and end-all, but it is another factor. What is certain is that we are without a coach and I say ‘we’ because I’m still thinking of myself as a Lakers player,” he said.

Teammates such as Kobe Bryant, with whom Gasol gets on very well, have asked the Catalan to stay: “I spoke with Kobe before the end of the season and he told me he wanted me to stay. We have a great mutual respect and a great friendship.”