Pau Gasol taking on a whatever-it-takes attitude for the Bulls

SHARE Pau Gasol taking on a whatever-it-takes attitude for the Bulls
SHARE Pau Gasol taking on a whatever-it-takes attitude for the Bulls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – is always an interesting place to visit.

The two-time NBA Championship/Renaissance man has a Fan Zone on the site, an area called “Pau’s World,’’ and of course his own blog.

His latest entry was called “A Good Reaction in Difficult Times.’’

“We’re fighting hard,’’ Gasol wrote. “We’re growing in the face of adversity, and getting over the knocks. You can’t get frustrated about the things you can’t control – but you can get frustrated with the things you can control but don’t get right … We’re trying to win every game, but sometimes it’s impossible – that may sound obvious, but it isn’t.’’

Maybe that helps explain why Gasol, and his 34-year-old knees, were willing to put in 43 minutes of work in the overtime win in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, and afterwards all but welcome the extra work.

“Gotta do whatever it takes, man,’’ Gasol said, meeting with reporters while his feet were entrenched in an ice bucket. “Sometimes consequences come along, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve got to face the circumstances and that’s what I’m facing right now. Hopefully it won’t affect me negatively down the road, and when we do have a full squad I’m not going to need to do so much probably. Just try and do what I can to help the team.’’

Could the Gasol signing have worked out any better for the Bulls?

Of the five regular starters, Gasol has missed the least amount of games this season with just four. His 27 points and 16 rebounds against the 76ers was his career-best 44th double-double of the season, and more importantly, what would have been a rolling of the eyes earlier in the year – 43 minutes of work – is now a badge of honor for the big man.

“Yeah, yes they do, especially when you got done playing four [games] in five [nights] with the traveling,’’ Gasol said, when asked if the 43 minutes of playing time feels much different than his average of 34.7 minutes per game. “The schedule is tough. It’s been really hard as of late for us, but we have to get through it the best way we can.

“You try [and get rest] but sometimes your legs aren’t there. Your mind tries but your legs … often your body doesn’t respond as it normally does when you’re fresher. You keep on trying. Don’t give up. Try to make things happen for your team and hopefully it works.’’

That’s really what Gasol has transformed into this season: A flashy veteran at the start of training camp, now transformed into just another “dawg,’’ as Taj Gibson likes to say.

And with Gibson, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah all sidelined Wednesday, a “dawg’’ that was still willing to bite – for 43 minutes if need be.

The Bulls have 16 regular-season games left, are clinging to that all-important No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, and are doing so short-handed.

“It’s a valuable win for us,’’ Gasol said. “We’re short-handed. A lot of handicaps but we got it done. Now we gotta rest and try to get the next one.’’

The next one comes Friday night in Charlotte. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gave his team Thursday off.

Well-earned for Gasol.

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