The Pau Gasol Bulls are favorites to win the Eastern Conference, according to the man himself.
In an interview with Spanish website Marca.com, Gasol touched on many topics, including whether or not he thought he could win another ring with the Bulls:
Of course I can be a champion in Chicago. If not, I would not have decided on this team. For me Chicago is definitely the favorite in the East, along with Cleveland after the arrival of LeBron, although the favoritism on paper means nothing.You have to prove it.
The Gasol Bulls marriage did not take place without a lot of contemplation, which according to Gasol included many conversations with Kobe Bryant:
We are real friends. But he understood that it was a difficult decision and told me to always support. We have a relationship far beyond basketball. Our friendship is forever. He said he will always be there for him and me too, of course.
Even though Gasol talked with Phil Jackson in free agency, apparently the Knicks never had the players or cash to even be taken seriously:
New York was always the farthest option. I also liked being with Derek Fisher, a good friend and companion. There were many attractions, but the circumstances of salaries and staff not fit at this time.
The Marca interview also confirmed that the Gasol Bulls deal is for three years and $22 million, and the interviewer revealed that their is a player option on the third season:
I always understood that a franchise could offer me a large contract, and the chance to fight for the ring, but one thing or another. And I always said that money is not the most important consideration when deciding. There were other teams that offered me larger contracts, but I was not motivated by money.
Apparently a Gasol Bulls partnership was something Pau is really excited about:
Chicago is a storied franchise. After playing with the Lakers, playing for the Bulls is a good change. Michael Jordan was always my idol and now I will play for the team where he built his legend. It is a dream come true.
Gasol even commented on Derrick Rose:
Rose is well recovered. He can play in the World Cup. He is a top player. He was MVP of the league and with that being said I’m not worried about it.
Gasol Bulls Recruitment
As for what Tom Thibodeau, Joakim Noah and Rose said about Pau’s role on the Bulls:
The were very friendly. The message was similar, excited to play with me because they thought I could help them grow as a team. They think the Bulls would give me a step further, do not know how far, but a step. Thibs was very direct. He said I would come to fill certain gaps on offense and I would solve the problems.
Early indications are that this Gasol Bulls partnership could work out very nicely for all parties involved.
All Bulls fans owe a huge debt of gratitude to Marca.com for publishing this interview.