Pau Gasol thought his 2008 trade to Lakers for Marc Gasol ‘was a joke’
The Los Angeles Lakers were able to raise banners 16 and 17 back in 2009 and 2010 thanks in large part to the blockbuster trade that sent former Memphis Grizzlies star Pau Gasol to LA.
In a shocking turn of events, the Grizzlies decided to ship Pau to Los Angeles in exchange for several players, most notably, his brother Marc Gasol.
In his appearance in the podcast of ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Gasol said that when Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace told him that he was traded for his brother, he initially thought it was a joke.
“I walk in and the first thing he tells me is, ‘Pau please, come in, sit down. You just got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.’”
“I’m like, ‘Sorry, what?’”
“I couldn’t take it in. ‘What are you talking about?’ At that point I was not expecting to be traded at all.”
[Wallace said], ‘You got traded for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, a second round pick, and the funniest of all, your brother Marc.’
“I’m like, what? Is this a joke, [he’s] trying to be funnier and funnier? At that time I couldn’t process what he was saying, I’m like, is this really happening? Why is he making a joke out of it when I’ve be here for six-and-a-half years, [Wallace] basically just got there, and now I’m traded.”
However, when Pau Gasol realized that it wasn’t a prank, he said he was very excited and even called that trade to the Lakers as one of the best moments of his career.
“Obviously I got more excited as the minutes went by, but it was crazy and it was Chris that told me. Obviously it was one of the greatest moments of my career just because …. at first it was hard to to process being treated and moving away from the team that you’ve given so much to (and in the other way around) but then I walk into a situation that would allow me to to win. Which is what exactly what I wanted, what I craved, and to play with one of the greatest players and Kobe and to be coached by Phil Jackson.”
Pau became a household name in Los Angeles, and Lakers fans expect his jersey to be retired by the team once his playing career is over.