Pau Gasol did a conference call interview with NBA.com about international basketball, training camp, teammate Juan Carlos Navarro and the changes and adjustments he expects to see with the team this year. Here's one of the many questions he answered:
Q: You and Dirk Nowitzki are the best basketball players from Europe. Which areas do you need to improve to become an MVP player like Nowitzki?
A: I guess different areas you can always improve. To become an MVP you have to be one of the top five teams in the league to have that kind of respect and recognition from the media and press and the league. There are always things you can improve. I am continuing to work on every aspect of the game. I’m working on becoming a bigger presence on defense, to block more shots and be more consistent with my rebounding, give more consistency to my team. My offensive game is pretty clean. I’m trying to feel more comfortable to shoot a little more from outside and be more versatile; keep working on my low post game.
Reading the question above, I wonder what Tony Parker thinks about being left off the list of best players from Europe? Guess that didn't fit into the Regular Season MVP line of thinking, did it? He was only a Finals MVP, after all.
It also appears that the Memphis Grizzlies will be all over the local airwaves this season.
GM Chris Wallace has a weekly segment on 730 ESPN Radio with Chris Vernon. We here at Shades of Blue are big Chris Wallace fans, so we highly recommend listening to him go back and forth with Verno.
It was announced today in the Commercial Appeal that head coach Marc Iavaroni will have a regular segment on AM 560 WHBQ every Thursday afternoon from 5:30-6:00 PM during the regular season beginning October 18th. It is reported that he'll be have Grizzlies beat writer Ron Tillery and Sports 56 programming director Eli Savoie as co-hosts, which should prove to be interesting, to say the least. You can also go to their website to listen to interviews that Iavaroni and Wallace did earlier this week.
We bid adieu to sideline reporter Tony Luftman, as he has taken over the duties of studio host for the pre-, halftime and post-game TV reports for the Portland Trailblazers. It has been reported that Rob Fischer will be taking his place. Fischer is a local radio co-host who can be heard on AM 560 WHBQ on The Sports Bar.
Finally, when the team goes to Spain for part of training camp this month, don't despair. After all, you'll be able to watch the games on NBA TV on Oct. 9 & 11. Go to the Europe Live 2007 TV schedule to see other games they'll be carrying.