SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs’ power forward Pau Gasol said on Monday that he understood the “frustration” that his brother Marc Gasol had as a leader and franchise player of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies, an important team in the Western Conference during the past seven seasons, have become one of the teams eliminated from the final phase, and are now relying on the next NBA draft to reform the team.
Although its history in recruiting young players has not been the best, the arrival of then newly-recruited Pau Gasol to the team led to its resurrection in the NBA league, before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007, where he successfully earned two NBA titles.
Pau’s brother Marc, who was also traded as part of the same agreement with the Lakers to the Grizzlies, then contributed greatly to the team’s success.
However, the success of the Grizzlies in this season seems uncertain due to Marc’s injuries and his argument with former head coach David Fizdale, who was fired after having steered the team through only 19 games in the new season.
Since then, the relationship of Marc and the Grizzlies has gone from bad to worse under the direction of interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, worsening the already worrisome situation of the team as franchise base player Mike Conley had to go through heel surgery in January and cannot compete further in the current season.
Marc Gasol has repeatedly expressed frustration over the situation in the Grizzlies.
Pau said, referring to his brother’s uneasy situation in the Grizzlies, “Of course, he’s upset. He should be upset. Any player who competes and cares would be upset. That’s a good sign from a player who cares and is a leader. He’s putting his body on the line and not quitting.”
He also expressed support for Marc and advised him to stay focused.
“What I told him is ‘Do your best. Keep competing … That’s the only thing you can control,’” said the elder Gasol. “You can’t control that one of your best players, Mike Conley, is out for the year. You can’t control that Chandler Parsons, one of your biggest signings, has an issue and so forth.”
The Grizzlies recorded 11 consecutive losses at the start of the season, which led to the dismissal of Fizdale.
It currently owns the NBA’s worst streak with 14 consecutive losses and a league mark at 18-45.
The Grizzlies coaches decided not to let Marc play games on consecutive nights, which the Spanish player had to unwillingly accept.
Although Marc has put in better performances in recent games, he has not played in the individual section as well as he did in previous seasons, when he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and became a three-time NBA All-Star.
In his tenth season in the NBA, Marc Gasol, 33, has an average of 17.8 points with 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 59 games.