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“Pau Gasol has an age, but he is also a better person”


Joan Montes, who supervised the beginnings as a Pvot Barça player, analyzes his return for EL MUNDO. “If we expect him to have the physical level he was at 20, we would be confused. Above all, he can provide advice in the dressing room”

Pau Gasol, in his presentation as a Barcelona player.ALEJANDRO GARCAEFE
Pau Gasol The Bara shirt has finally been put on at last. For now, only in his official presentation, but his return to the field is getting closer and closer. It is not the same as 20 years ago, no clothes have hurt at the time of confessing it. But his contribution can be tremendously decisive, according to the former Barcelona coach Joan Montes, who supervised his beginnings at the Barça club.

“He has an age, but he is also a better person. If we expected him to have the physical level he was at 20 years old, the ones who would be confused would be us. great level who are around 40 years old and who are still in the Top-10 “, he highlights. Whether or not this second stage is lengthened depends on the player himself: “he knows better than anyone if he can perform 100% when the time comes. If we talk about another player, he may not say so, but Pau is very intelligent, and it is his intelligence what, ultimately, decide what to do. There are players, for example, who have followed until 42 or 43 years. ”

Your experience, right now, is perhaps your best asset. “Above all, he can provide advice in the dressing room. Marc Gasol, for example, is not so good physically now, but they are people who understand the game better and better. Having Pau is like having a coach on the track who can run. , pass and define with a lot of understanding of the game, “says the former technician. And at all levels. “Undoubtedly he will be a key figure, for the less veteran and also for the veterans. He is Pau, a person who has won everything. The advice he gives, everyone will listen to him. In the NBA he has been highly valued by players of the highest level, like Kobe Bryant. He understands the game more than anyone, he did it when he was young “, emphasizes a Joan Montes who remembers very well how his emergence in the first team was managed.

“I had him train with the first team, it was Those, then, who made him debut, because I convinced him to do so. At the time, he was not very in favor of putting it on, but I told him about it and, when he saw him train, he realized that he was a player for the first team, “he explains.” I saw that he was a person who, at his age , he understood basketball very well, a very coordinated player who could become a determining factor in the future. He had a good chance of being a great player. Although, to tell the truth, he has been a much better player than everyone thought at the time. It was a rough diamond and it has been polished very well, “he reiterates.

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Now, come back to fight for the Euroleague. A title that, perhaps, he could have already achieved in his first stage if things had been different. “The negotiation, at the time, was not the ideal one. They did not want to pay what, in reality, it was worth. With Bara, he might have won a European Cup or two if the contract had been done well at the time. Then, he asked for amounts that he believed he deserved and Bara thought that, with his youth, it was not good to pay them. Perhaps the two positions made a lot of sense, but at that moment I was in favor of Pau “, reveals the former Barcelona coach.

Right now, without a doubt, Bara is perhaps the great favorite to take the title this season. “The team is playing in an extraordinary way. If it continues to improve, to be the European champion, for sure. In all seasons there are ups and downs, if it continues up there, it will succeed, but, if there is a drop, it will not be Pau’s fault either,” he says.

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