Pau Gasol is one of the smarter NBA players out there — he has been inside the operating room at a children’s hospital at the invite of doctors, he goes to the opera, and I have had a conversation with him about author José Saramago. This summer he visited Syrian refugees for UNICEF.
He and his brother Marc Gasol also have a charity together, the Gasol Foundation, and this summer the brothers made a bet: Pau and Marc each had a team of children they were trying to get to be active and healthy, it was called The Healthy Competition. The children were given Nike Fuel Bands and the coach whose team burned the most fuel won and the other had to shave his beard. Marc’s team in Memphis just edged out Pau’s L.A. team.
So for the first time since 2004 (when he was with the Grizzlies), Pau had to shave his beard.
If Shumpert was faking as an excuse for missing, he sold it hard. Defending 4-on-5 on the other end, Cleveland ceded a 3-pointer. Then, Shumpert remained hunched over while the Cavs brought the ball up-court. It seems Shumpert might have been popping back in a dislocated finger, which jibes with him staying in the game – and shows his toughness.
But it also doesn’t erase the shame of hurting yourself while missing an open dunk.