Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol hasn’t played all that well in his first year with the franchise. It’s why the Lakers felt compelled to sign Andre Drummond following Drummond’s buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
None of it is easy for Gasol, a former All-Star.
“I think there’s an ‘if’ — ‘if’ they need you. And it’s a big ‘if,'” Gasol told reporters after the Lakers’ win at Sacramento on Friday. “You’re not Plan A right now. You’re Plan C, D. … You have to accept it because that’s your job. And that’s what you sign up to do. It’s never easy to accept that.”
Gasol, 36, is averaging just 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds despite being the starter most of the season.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel is clearly trying to keep Gasol’s spirits high. It is true that the Lakers may need him more often than perhaps thought. For instance, Drummond is already out with a toe injury. So Gasol started vs. the Kings.
“I think people need to understand how good of a player Marc Gasol is and how valuable he is to what we’re doing,” Vogel said. “And we’re going to play our most important players, so he’s going to help us win a championship this year. That’s the plan. That’s the vision.
“Obviously Andre coming along gives us the depth. But we’re going to need all three of those guys. We stated that from Day 1, and Marc is one of our most important players. He dominated the game tonight with five points, OK? And this is what Marc brings to the table.”
Gasol gave no indication he is favoring a contract buyout.
“Things can change quickly in the NBA, just as they have changed for me,” Gasol said. “But, I’m committed to this team. It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know I’m going to be out of the lineup at some point. It’s never easy on a player. As a basketball player, you want to play. You want to contribute, especially when you made that commitment for that reason. But, we’ll see.”