Pau Gasol is in his eleventh NBA season out of Spain. After playing his first six and a half years with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, during the 2007-2008 season, for a package that included his brother Marc Gasol. Once Gasol arrived in LA, he made an immediate impact, giving Kobe Bryant and the Lakers the strong, low post presence they sorely needed.
In the years since, Gasol and Bryant have led the Lakers to three NBA Finals appearances, capturing two NBA championships.
Since last season’s disappointing sweep versus the eventual world champion Dallas Mavericks, Gasol has been rumored to be on his way out of Los Angeles. Shortly after the lockout ended, Gasol was traded to the Houston Rockets, as part of the original Chris Paul to LA deal. Even after the NBA elected to nix the trade with the league owned New Orleans Hornets, Gasol has still been one of the central figures in numerous trade rumors that seem to appear almost every week this season.
Last Friday, it finally looked like Gasol was going to be traded to the Rockets. Despite the rampant rumors, a very genuine and well dressed Gasol took ample time to sign autographs for a large group of fans, per the above iFolloSports.com original video.
This all took place outside of the Graves 601 Hotel, in downtown Minneapolis, a few hours before Friday's 105-102 victory over the Timberwolves.
Earlier this season, per this iFolloSports.com original video, Pau's brother Marc showed the same level of effort, when interacting with fans outside the very same Minneapolis hotel.
The Gasol parents must have raised their boys to always take care of the fans.
As it turned out, the much discussed trade of Gasol never came to be. Shockingly, one of the Lakers sent packing at the deadline was team stalwart Derek Fisher, who was moved to the Houston Rockets.
Here is iFolloSports.com original video of Fisher boarding the bus in Minneapolis, just six days before his time with LA was up.