Trail Blazers waive Spanish veteran Pau Gasol

Agence France-Presse
Paul Gasol says he still has the 'same excitement and passion for the game' and the Trail Blazers’ offer of a coaching role would just be a stopgap


ON THE MOVE. Still recuperating from injury, veteran big man Pau Gasol saw action with the San Antonio Spurs before heading to the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES, USA – Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol said Wednesday, November 20 (Thursday, November 21, Philippine time) he’s been waived by the Portland Trail Blazers, who inked him to a one-year contract before the season in hopes he would be able to return from a left foot injury.

“As of today, I will no longer be a member of the @TrailBlazers player roster, so I can focus all of my energy on my rehabilitation,” the 39-year-old Spaniard said on Twitter.

ESPN reported that Gasol and the Trail Blazers were discussing details of a coaching role for the future Hall of Famer, but in a video posted on Twitter Gasol said such a job would be a stopgap, and his aim remained to regain his fitness and resume his playing career.

“I have the same excitement and passion for the game of basketball that I had when I first started playing,” Gasol said. “And I will work as hard as I can on my recovery with a clear goal in mind: to get healthy in order to play the game that I love.”

Gasol, the third overall selection in the 2001 draft, has played 18 seasons in the NBA, winning titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and earning 6 All-Star nods.

In 2018-2019, he was limited to 30 games in a season split between the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. In May he had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, and he signed with the Blazers as a free agent in July.

Gasol noted in his video that the original timeline for his return ranged from six to 12 months. He said a recent evaluation showed he still had a long way to go in his rehabilitation and the decision to waive him would give the Trail Blazers more roster flexibility. –