Pau Gasol Will Be Appreciated By Los Angeles Lakers Now That He's Gone

By Oliver
Pau Gasol
Andrew D. Bernstein-Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers were the beneficiaries of some of Pau Gasol’s best seasons throughout his illustrious All-Star career. His last two seasons were far from his best, but for those Lakers fans who went through the mid-2000s, they will appreciate what Gasol did for the franchise.

The number of people wanting Gasol traded was on an upward trend towards the end of his time in Los Angeles. He was the most talked about player as the trade deadline approached, but unlike many others in the league, he didn’t let that interfere with his performance on the court.

It could be perceived that the Lakers fanbase in general is happy Gasol is gone, but that is untrue. The overly vocal minority that celebrate the Spaniard’s departure will suffer from a good ole case of not appreciating something until it’s gone.

Gasol’s toughness, sometimes warranted, was questioned throughout his time with the Lakers. The unquestionable traits Gasol possesses are his skills first and foremost, but also his loyalty and commitment to the franchise.

While he signed with the Chicago Bulls, his first choice was to stay in L.A. if they could provide him with the scenario he saw himself ending his career in.

Unfortunately for Gasol and the Lakers, unsuccessful bids for the top free agents this offseason also meant an unsuccessful bid for Gasol. At 34 years old, another championship is at the forefront of his mind, and the Lakers aren’t in a position to compete in 2014-15.

Gasol was an integral part of the Lakers’ championships in 2009 and 2010. Without him, Kobe Bryant probably wouldn’t have his fourth and fifth rings. He has always been appreciative of Gasol and one of his biggest advocates when the media is on his back around the trade deadline. It’s rare for Bryant to show such humility towards a teammate in a public forum, but he did so for Gasol.

Gasol brought with him two championships Lakers fans otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Much like Miami Heat fans should be appreciating what LeBron James did for them, Lakers fans should be applauding Gasol for his spell in Los Angeles.

Jason Oliver is an NBA and Los Angeles Lakers writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JOliverNZ and add him on Google.

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