Pau Gasol knows trying to replace Tim Duncan is a quixotic task, as Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post relays. “I didn’t come here to replace Tim,” Gasol said. “Tim is an incredible player, a player that I looked up to, an icon in San Antonio, and anywhere else, for that matter. But I just came to bring my talent, my abilities and help this team be the best it can be. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not going to try to be someone that’s played here 19 years, got five championships with this team. I’m trying to help this team get one, and that’s where I’m at.” The Spurs signed Gasol to a two-year, $30MM deal over the summer and the big man has helped the team earn a 10-3 record this season.
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Jrue Holiday is thrilled with how the Pelicans handled his absence and he’s happy to be back on the court, James Varney of USA Today writes. “I’m blessed, man,” Holiday said earlier this week. “Blessed to have my family back, blessed that we’re OK. So blessed for the support, especially from the team. This team was there for me and my family. A lot of people were. I just can’t put it on one group of people. So many showed faith and support.” Holiday helped the team get its third win of the season on Friday night, scoring 21 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
- Mike Conley is still underrated despite re-signing with the Grizzlies on the largest contract in league history over the summer, Jerry Zgoda of the StarTribune argues. Conley has always been a team-first guy, but he admits that his lack of All-Star appearances weighs on him. “It’s very frustrating, but I know my team feels like I am, I feel like I am that All-Star-caliber guy,” Conley said. “I just have to keep playing like that and get better as each year goes by.”