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Pau Gasol denied reports that he’s signing with Barcelona in Spain.

© Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

That was clearly about controlling the message, not setting the record straight.

Because Gasol is signing with Barcelona in Spain.

Gasol:

Very happy to come back home.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Força Barça! ???????? pic.twitter.com/6CewIY2Bil

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 23, 2021

???????? I couldn't end such a special day without telling you this…

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/YzSKkrSC6Q

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 23, 2021

Gasol is 40 and has had difficulty staying healthy. Expectations, even for playing in Europe, should be modest. He’s approaching retirement.

But he’s clearly not ready to be finished. Gasol previously talked about playing for the Lakers and Spain in the Tokyo Olympics.

It’s difficult for players to end their careers on their own terms, and this might not be precisely what Gasol hoped for. But he seems genuinely excited about the opportunity to return to the team he played for before the Grizzlies, Lakers, Spurs, Bucks and Trail Blazers.

Pau Gasol signing in Spain, returning to Barcelona originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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Hilaria Baldwin spoke at the UN about being half-Spanish

Hilaria Baldwin has been feverishly posting happy family photos on Instagram of Alec Baldwin and their five young children as she tries to repair her reputation and influencer brand, but it’s a recently revealed video that is now the problem.

Baldwin’s critics say the Boston-born mom podcaster and yoga teacher, who has been flaunting a Spanish heritage she does not have, tried to mislead officials at the United Nations about it in 2019. In the past week, they uncovered video of her speaking at a special UN session on healthy eating and the environment, during which she was identified as “half-Spanish” and perpetuated the idea that she grew up in Spain.

Vignettes from the special event to launch EAT-Lancet Commission Report on Food, Planet, Health.@AlecBaldwin, @hilariabaldwin
Viñetas del evento especial para lanzar el Informe de la Comisión EAT-Lancet sobre Alimentos, Planeta, Salud.
????: UN Photo/Mark Garten pic.twitter.com/XfNwJNCaSJ

— Alejandra Schrader (@ChefAleSchrader) February 7, 2019

During the session, Baldwin also spoke with a slight Spanish accent, which she has used on-and-off in TV and in podcast appearances over the past 10 years.

The UN video comes from when Hilaria and Alec Baldwin participated in the Feb. 5, 2019 launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Health and Planet initiative to promote plant-rich diets as a way to transform food systems and save the environment. The launch of the nonprofit commission’s report was organized by the UN Environment Program and the Norwegian government. An edited clip is below:

For the event, Hilaria Baldwin was identified as a “wellness expert” and spoke during a panel discussion that was moderated by David Nabarro, a top international public health official who has served as special envoy to the UN secretary general.

For some reason, Nabarro had been told about Hilaria Baldwin’s supposedly Spanish heritage because he began his first question to her: “You’re actually half Spanish and half-American.” Baldwin didn’t disabuse Nabarro of that notion when she responded to his question about how she, as a mother of five and as “an expert in human health and wellness,” had incorporated a healthy diet into her life.

Later, Nabarro repeated the idea of Baldwin’s Spanish background when he said, “You’re Spanish as well as American.”

Hilaria Baldwin specifically affirmed that idea by saying “um-hum.” Nabarro then asked how the diet recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission report conforms to the  Mediterranean diet of Spain that “her family might have been eating at home.”

“Is that right, and do you feel a sense of commonality with it?” Nabarro asked

Baldwin said, “I think so” — again not clarifying that she’s not Spanish but was born to a family whose New England roots go back several generations. Baldwin instead repeated an oft-told story about herself — how she bucked trends in her family by becoming a vegetarian at age 5.

Baldwin also told Nabarro she gave up dairy when she was 20, and used that disclosure to speak as if she has a Spaniard’s familiarity with that country’s food culture.

“And so in Spain, we eat a lot of dairy,” Hilaria Baldwin said. “There is a lot of meat. There is a bit of a shift, but, yes, it is more typical of the diet (in Spain) than it is in this country.”

After Hilaria Baldwin’s conversation with Nabarro, Alec Baldwin, identified as an “actor and activist,” spoke about the environmental harm caused by the massive food production used to supply people around the world with meat and chicken.

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, who have been married since 2012 and share five children, ages 7 to five months, also recorded several promos for the initiative, making it appear that they might enjoy the prestige of being UN Goodwill ambassadors, like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson and other celebrities.

Hilaria Baldwin, 37. has been at the center of a scandal over her heritage since late 2020. That’s when people on social media and on Reddit began to uncover multiple examples from TV, podcast and magazine interviews, including in Spanish-language publications, when she used a fluctuating Spanish accent, or let herself be described as being born in Spain, having family who come from Spain, or being a “native” Spanish speaker. Alec Baldwin, 62. also was shown in a 2013 David Letterman interview, saying his wife was “from Spain” as he jokingly imitated her Spanish accent.

Her critics, who say she has failed to properly acknowledge her “grift,” speculate that Hilaria Baldwin believed that being Spanish would somehow make her more interesting and glamorous. It’s also possible she felt comfortable pushing a European identity when she visited the United Nations and sought to participate in its international culture.

As her heritage controversy began to simmer, Hilaria Baldwin issued an initial statement acknowledging that she was born in Boston, but she blamed the media for falsely reporting on her birthplace.

She returned to Instagram in early February after more than a month of staying away. She posted a carefully worded message saying, “I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow.”

But critics accused Hilaria Baldwin of employing a classic non-apology apology. While she said she was was “sorry,” critics noted she didn’t say she was sorry for allegedly lying to her fans or for engaging in what they called cultural appropriation. Hilaria Baldwin only apologized for not being “more clear” about how she described her affinity to American and Spanish cultures.

“My parents raised my brother and me with two cultures, American and Spanish, and I feel a true sense of belonging to both,” Hilaria Baldwin wrote. “The way I’ve spoken about myself and my deep connection to two cultures could have been better explained — I should have been more clear and I’m sorry.”

Hilaria Baldwin continued to double-down on her main defense by again explaining how she is raising her five children to be bilingual and to “share the same love and respect” for both cultures.

In her earlier comments at the UN session, Hilaria Baldwin said she “leads by example” when it comes to promoting healthy eating, both to her fans and to her children. The Baldwin family’s diet does not include meat or dairy, she said.

“We eat really well,” said Hilaria Baldwin, who also touted the recipes in her 2016 book, “The Living Clearly Method.” She said, “It is my job, as their mother, our job as parents, to feed them well so that they’re healthy so that they are very well behaved.”

“They do get to enjoy things,” Hilaria Baldwin said. “When they go to birthday parties, they can have the ice cream. They can have the pizza. They can experiment and experience other things.”

She said they might notice their bellies hurt or they’ve become cranky, telling her, “Mommy, I think it’s because I ate pizza with cheese on it, and my body isn’t used to it.”

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