Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/6/13
The Los Angeles Lakers’ pitch to try to convince Dwight Howard to stay started long before billboards sprung up around L.A. Some six months before the billboards appeared in positioning Howard as the franchise's future the Lakers put Pau Gasol in the past and often on the bench. “We did have a free-agent market last year we had to be aware of and you make certain arguments based on the future” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “Whether they’re right or wrong that’s the reality of it and we went that way but it was never meant to be a slight to (Gasol) or never meant to be that he was the cause of our problems.” While health certainly had something to do with it -- Gasol’s knees feet and head (a concussion) caused him to miss 33 games last season -- Gasol was aware of the ground shifting beneath him as the Lakers gravitated towards Howard. “It was at times frustrating because of the reality of that specific situation” Gasol told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a phone...
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