Lakers star forward Pau Gasol, former Grizzlie, couldn't be happier to be on a winning team. Not just a winning team, but a team competing for the championship. We talked to Pau about the Lakers, life in Memphis, and his love (or lack thereof) for Elvis.
Dan Gurley: How would you describe your seven years in Memphis?
Pau Gasol: Oh, great. I'd heard a lot about the city before coming, but no one could have prepared for me BBQ on pizza. I mean, both are great. But together?! It was incredible. I remember my first time...
DG: Pau, Pau. Let's stick to basketball.
PG: Oh yeah, sorry. We had a good team for awhile there. Making the playoffs three consecutive seasons is a great accomplishment. Although we never won a game, we were right there, on the cusp.
DG: Do you miss your fans in Memphis?
PG: Fans in Memphis? Is this a trick question?
DG: While in Memphis, there was talk that you didn't want to be "the man," but would rather be second fiddle. What do you say to that?
PG: I'd say there is truth to that. I mean, after they paid Brian Cardinal millions, I figured he'd be the go-to-guy.
DG: How much of an Elvis fan are you now?
(Pau stares blankly at me for 13 minutes.)
PG: I don't wanna talk about it.
DG: Now you're in Los Angeles. How does it feel to go from a bottom dwelling team to a championship contender?
PG: Darnit if they had BBQ pizza here. It's like crack!
DG: What is different from being in L.A. compared to being in Memphis?
PG: A lot. I won't forget the hood. I won't forget the days of catching a bullet on the way to the mailbox or bricks with death threats that somehow made their way through the window. Warm, warm memories.
DG: You now play with Kobe Bryant, the MVP of the league. Has he made you a better player?
PG: He sure has. A player of his caliber could actually make a guy like Brian Cardinal worth maybe half of what the Grizz pay him.
DG: How do you feel about your new home in L.A.?
PG: I love it. In-N-Out is incredible, but don't tell coach I've been going there. He would flip out and put some curse on me. But yeah, being here and winning is always something you want as a player.
...along with BBQ pizza, darn! Flight out to Memphis! What's a few stab wounds?