Before the 2008 NBA Finals, I found myself on a Celtics message board having a conversation with a Lakers fan (oddly enough, my brother, the die-hard Lakers fan, wouldn’t return my calls BEFORE the series even started).
The Lakers fan was all Gasol-this and Gasol-that. Gasol was the be-all and end-all, pretty much Wilt, Kareem, and Shak rolled into one, even though I was led to believe Andrew Bynum had assumed those responsibilities.
I subtly suggested that the Ls weren’t the only team to make roster changes since the last time the Celtics and Lakers had played. The Celtics had made roster changes, too.
Was the Lakers fan aware that Tony Allen had started the 12/30/07 game at Staples, and that Rajon Rondo didn’t play a second? Was he aware that PJ Brown wasn’t even on the roster. Nor was Sam Cassell.
Those guys aren’t bad, the Lakers fan replied. But come on, “we’re talking about Pau Freakin’ Gasol!” As if that description somehow ended the conversation.
We’ll see, I said. We’ll see.
Note I didn’t even mention the Show, Leon Powe, who also never took off his warm-up at Staples.
So while Pau Freakin’ Gasol was indeed a gift from Jerry West, er, I mean the heavens above, it is becoming less clear by the game whether the acquisition of Pau Freakin’ Gasol was enough to offset the additions of PJ and Sam, the return of Rajon Rondo, and the emergence of Leon Powe.
I hope to chat with this fellow again later in June, if you know what I mean.