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February 17, 2017

Marc Gasol

New Orleans, Louisiana

Q. Everybody remembers what happened a few years ago when you played with your brother Pau [Gasol].
MARC GASOL: Yeah. Obviously, that moment was special. I don't think you can reproduce it for two brothers to have a jump ball in the All-Star game. Everybody that has a brother can imagine what that is, or everything that they imagine that they dream of is just like that. It's just looking across, seeing your brother, and just going -- you know, trying to reach for the stars, and it was beautiful.

That day will always be remembered for our lives.

Q. I come from Greece. Are you surprised the way [Giannis] Antetokounmpo is playing this season?
MARC GASOL: I'm not surprised. I heard about his work ethic. One of his coaches is now our coach. He's told us great things. Nick Van Exel, he's told me great things about Giannis, and the sky's the limit. He's a hard worker. He doesn't believe in limits, and he has a great work ethic. Those ingredients are great for a good outcome.

Q. Will you be back with the national team for the European championships next September?
MARC GASOL: That's the intention. That's the goal. I'm hopeful for that. I missed the last two years. Playing with those guys, it's a very unique feeling, something that I feel very attached to that I missed dearly the last two years. I want to get back to it. You're fortunate to do those things. When you're looking from the outside in, it's a little different.

Q. How do you feel to be one of the dominant inside players in the NBA on a team that has a lot of ambition?
MARC GASOL: I don't know. I live in a very normal way. I don't see it's that big of a deal. I think I just try to play my basketball, try to help my teammates be a little better defensively to make their jobs easier offensively. I don't see that's such a big deal.

Q. Are you still improving your game?
MARC GASOL: Always try to.

Q. Tell me the last improvement.
MARC GASOL: Obviously, the most obvious one this year is the three-point shooting. Now I have to shoot more threes because the style that the coach presents. He challenges me with that, and obviously, it's a good challenge, and you take it for the benefit of the team. The team is winning, and my teammates are playing really good basketball, which makes me focus.

Q. What do you think of stretch five?
MARC GASOL: I don't think it's a new thing. It solves a lot of pacing problems for coaches. It pushes the pace also for the team, and yet it solves a lot of little issues we might have offensively.

Q. DeAndre Jordan is in the All-Star game for the first time. You've battled against him many, many times. What makes him deserving of this honor?
MARC GASOL: Obviously, his work ethic. He's a terrific defender. He's really good at what he does. He controls and communicates the defense with his teammates pretty much perfectly. He makes you pay if you don't do a good job defensively. He'll roll right to the basket. He's a really hard guy to box out. He hides really well behind the backboard. Special player, obviously a good team. On a good team, when you have somebody like DeAndre, it makes you better.

Q. How have you seen him evolve over the last couple of years?
MARC GASOL: Yes, he's more confident at the end of the game. What he does is make a good team great, which that's really important. There's not many players that can make a good team great. If the Clippers are a great team, it's because of him too. They have a great thing, and he's a huge piece. You always want to go with guys like DeAndre because they make it work.

Q. Marc, talk about your three-point shooting this year.
MARC GASOL: What do you want to talk about?

Q. How much fun has that been to kind of see that take off?
MARC GASOL: Well, you know, it's something that I'm still working on. I'm not the most comfortable guy out there all the time. I think you might get a little passive at times on the three-point line. You want to pick and choose what point in the game you want to do it. Obviously, you see the fives now not staying on the free throw line. They try to get a step closer. You see teams adjusting to that threat. Obviously, most important, I see my team benefitting from it, and I think that's what's most important to me.

Q. Why has this year been so much better for you than last year? What's been the key there?
MARC GASOL: Well, last year I broke my foot and that kind of sucked. To be able to come to this level and get back to the All-Star level and having a good record and still seeing room for improvement in many areas keeps pushing me forward to try to get there.

I think as a team we still have room to grow, and I think we have the right mindset to try and achieve that.

Q. Does it take time after an injury like that, or do people kind of maybe don't understand how long it takes to feel like you're yourself again?
MARC GASOL: I didn't approach it that way. I think a lot of it has to do with your mindset. My mindset was never like injury is done, it's done. I'm thinking about recovering, I'm thinking about rehabbing. I'm just thinking about playing basketball because I miss the game so much when I was out. So I approached the game like the injury never happened.

Obviously, physically, I felt great. I had no setbacks or anything close to it. I have no reminders of the injury. So that was good too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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