By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
“I’m a beast.”
Those were the words of Pau Gasol, the captain of the Spain’s basketball team in the Olympics and the big man of the Los Angeles Lakers. You know who he is, you’ve seen him play, you’ve watched him make those faces, and hearing that he said those three words makes him totally unrecognizable.
“I’m a beast.”
Passive. Finesse. SB Nation’s Bomani Jones refers to the man as “The Pau-sy Cat.” So yes, I’m shocked to hear these words come out of his mouth. This is not to be offensive to Gasol, as I think he’s underappreciated. However, to hear the man speak in such a fashion definitely caught me off guard.
In reality, this is life for the elder Gasol brother, as the man is now 32 years old and when he spoke to reporters last week his focus was being a leader for Spain and helping the Lakers return to the top of the NBA table.
“I have been preparing myself and working to get better this summer. First for the Olympics and to perform at a high level to be able to achieve our goal, and then when the Olympics are over, take a little break and continue to prepare myself for what’s going to be a very demanding (NBA) season, a season where we (the Lakers) want to get back on top as a team.” — Pau Gasol
Pau looked like a beast on Sunday, as his 21 points and 11 rebounds lead Spain to a 97-81 victory over China in the Olympic men’s basketball opener. Yes, Spain’s frontline will be their foundation for success in the men’s basketball tournament, but while Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka will be able to assist in defending and rebounding, Pau’s biggest asset to this team is in filling up the score sheet. Gasol is the best post scorer in the Olympics this year, and if he keeps “beasting” on the court, then the medal rounds could get pretty interesting.