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Thursday 27 April 2017
News updated at 12:41 PM IST

LA Lakers will dominate, says NBA star Gasol

Last updated: 25 August, 2010
Bangalore, Aug 25, DHNS: 22:44 IST

On February 01, 2008, the Memphis Grizzlies traded their 7-foot powerforward-cum-centre Pau Gasol to a rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers outfit and the rest is history.

Despite logging in with impressive performances for seven seasons at the FedEx Forum, Gasol was a relative unknown, but all that changed with the trade, which was the biggest move in NBA history until Lebron James' move to the Heat this year.

Gasol, who was brought in to fill the void left by Shaquille O' Neal's move to the Miami
Heat, guided the Lakers to the NBA Finals in 2008 -- which they lost to Boston Celtics -- and helped them add two more championships, to their already swollen overall tally of 15, in 2009 and 2010.

"That was a very big move for my career," said the 30-year-old Gasol, who was in Mumbai on Wednesday to conduct an NBA Clinic. "The move got me the championship rings. We worked really hard and it was an amalgamation of a brilliant bunch of things that made us this good,"

The three-time All-Star, known for his incredible agility and versatility on the post and drive, was confident that the Lakers will continue to dominate.

"We are working really hard to bring home another title. I'm honoured to play with Kobe (Bryant) and I think the team has become a formidable force. There are new teams and newer challenges thrown at us but I'm confident that we can work around it all," said the former Barcelona player.

To add to a list of incredible performances in the American league since his debut, Gasol played a vital cog in Spain's silver medal finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"That was a brilliant feeling. It's very different from how things are in the NBA. You know to have an entire country’s hopes on your shoulders is quite a responsibility. It was a fun experience and I've enjoyed my stint with the National squad thoroughly," noted Gasol.

Talking about his experience in Mumbai, Gasol said: "This is my first time here and it's looking good. I've come here to promote the sport and that's why we got the trophy along. It's a wonderful place.

“Only in the days to come will I be able to tell you about the quality of basketball because I've not got a chance to see anything yet."

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