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NBA Draft 2001: Wednesday, June 27
Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol
No. 3 pick, Atlanta Hawks

Q: How do you feel being selected No. 3?

Gasol: I feel very, very excited. It's a great moment for me. I cannot imagine that it will happen. I feel great. I feel very, very happy.

Q: How does it feel knowing that the Grizzlies want you and were willing to trade Shareef Abdur-Rahim?

Gasol: It doesn't matter to me. I am the third pick. I'm really, really excited. I'm happy, I can't ask for anything more.

Q: You seemed dazed when you were selected. Were you?

Gasol: It's fantastic. I'm here. I'm the third pick. It's the first time I've been in the States. I can't ask for any thing more.

Q: Talk about the adjustment you'll have to make?

Gasol: I think my adjustment, you know, the league will be a new kind of play. I think that it will be tough, but I'll put all my effort to do that as quick as possible.

Q: Is the Dirk Nowitzki comparison a fair one?

Gasol: He's a European like me. Physically, he's like me, more or less. But I think that the game Nowitzki plays is similar but is not like me. I see a lot of games in Spain, and I love the NBA.

Q: When did you think that you'd be considered for the NBA?

Gasol: I began to think about it this year when scouts came to see me in Spain. I began to realize that I had the abilities to go, to come here.

Q: Were you close to pulling out of the draft because you haven't played out your contract in Spain?

Gasol: Yes, for sure. I told them before the draft that if I was picked top six that I would pay the buyout [the contract] and come here next season.

Q: Do you think that you can make the improvement to do well at the NBA level?

Gasol: For sure. I think I can improve a lot more, and I think I'm a player with a lot of possibilities. I want to improve and become a good player in the league.

Q: What part of your game improved this season?

Gasol: Basically, mentally. I got more experience, I played really hard this year and I did a lot of things on the court. Technically, I play more three.

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