Kobe Bryant tweeted a photo earlier today of his injured leg as someone was in the process of removing the stitches from his recent surgery.
Kobe was exulting at the next step in the long progress of recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
As he did so, Pau Gasol was facing media after his meeting with Lakers management in the annual exit interview.
The end-of-season ritual usually occurs in May, but after their unceremonious sweep out of the playoffs, the Lakers were exiting the El Segundo training facility on the final two days of April.
Yesterday, player after player faced the media and the sad story of the season was told from each man’s unique perspective.
Most if not all were asked about Dwight Howard’s impending decision to move on or remain in Los Angeles.
Dwight will get his chance to dodge questions about himself later today when he takes the chair in front of assembled media members.
Gasol patiently answered questions in both English and Spanish.
Most of them centered on his status with the Lakers for the upcoming season and what it was like to go through this injury plagued and disappointing season in Los Angeles.
As he has always done, Pau Gasol answered each inquiry with class and care, being certain not to offend anyone in the process.
The irony of that approach is that he was seriously offended throughout this season. In the kindest way possible he spoke of coach Mike D’Antoni and the status of their relationship.
“I think we got to understand each other better, in the last part of the season and he was able to put me in spots and positions that I was effective. We won a lot of games, so our relations are good. I don’t know how it will play out. I don’t know if I”ll be here next season. Who am I to decide what’s fair?”
Gasol spoke of the past two seasons, including the strike-shortened 2011-12 campaign when the league put an end to his trade to the Houston Rockets, which would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers.
He called the reversal of the swap, “pretty random”, in a masterful stroke of stating the obvious.
It set the tone for a year and a half of uncertainty that saw his stock drop from the missing piece to a three-year stretch in the NBA Finals to a guy who was thought to be expendable.
Kobe Bryant won two more rings with “the big Spaniard” as he affectionately called him. Now the moving parts of revamping the team may find Gasol gone.
As we have seen all the time, “it’s a business” is the hard truth.