In an age of disposal guarantees made by athletes, Juan Carlos Navarro’s newest claim is nevertheless noteworthy – even if he was half-joking.

The ACB official site today reports on conversation between the FC Barcelona stud and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol, whose teams will face off tomorrow night in the most intriguing match of the entire NBA Europe Live tour.

Proclaimed Navarro: “Le dije a Pau que ganaríamos seguro.” (“I told Pau we would win for sure.”)

Navarro explained to Spanish media that “I told Pau, half joking and half serious [that] we’d win for sure.” After all, Navarro reasons, Barça’s already been playing in Catalan League, Spanish Super Cup and ACB games, while the Lakers are in preseason form “and not at their best.”

Despite the fact that L.A. is in preseason mode and lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday because of even distribution of minutes, Navarro believes regardless that the Lakers will come to Palau Blaugrana ready to play ball.

“This time they’re playing against the European champions,” he said. “They know what surrounds this type of game and that we won’t make it easy. They will take [this game] more seriously.”

And recall that in 2008, Barça managed to keep things interesting in a 108-104 Lakers win at the Staples Center…

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